The Hindu , 16 April 2006

Art on the sands of the Marina

CHENNAI: The beach sculpture culture has arrived on the Marina and for a noble cause.

This art form is popular on beaches all over the world.

Internationally renowned sand sculptor Sudarsan Pattnaik of Puri, Orissa, is in the city to create sand idols with `Save Sea Turtles' as the theme.

"This is the year of the turtles, hence the topic," says Mr. Pattnaik.

He also taught students of Velammal International School the nuances of the art.

Four hours of backbreaking work resulted in a massive face looking skyward.

The sand craftsman said he had visited 27 countries in the world.

It was his first visit to Chennai. He would stay for two more days and teach students to make various types of sand sculptures. Mr. Pattnaik and his team would visit the beach at 2 p.m.

Varied themes

Mr. Pattnaik is credited with sand creations on varied themes such as Olive Ridleys, HIV/AIDS and the tsunami.

"Every year, along the coastline of Orissa, Olive Ridley turtles nest in thousands. The stretch also accounts for the death of and injuries to several thousand Olive Ridleys.

"The endangered marine creatures get sucked into the propellers of trawlers and reach the shores as carcasses.

"To create awareness among people of staying in nearby fishing villages, I decided to create Olive Ridley sculptures in Orissa beaches," he said. It takes three hours for him to create a giant statue.

Monday is a very important day for sea turtle conservationists in the city, as Mr. Pattnaik would be creating several Olive Ridley turtles in sand along the shoreline of the Marina.

He mobile number is 094370-35950 and his e-mail is

The programme was organised by Velammal International Residential School.