It's is amazing what can be created from a 20 litre plastic bucket, a builder's trowel, teaspoon, a straw and a tonne of beach sand.
Since the Mid Coast LGA was forced into lockdown in early August an amazing collections of sand sculptures have been popping up along Hallidays Point beaches.
These unique and clever sand artworks are the work of Diamond Beach artist, Shannon Stone.
The self-taught stone and steel sculptor turned his attention to sand at the start of the most recent State-wide shutdown - which ended at 12.01am last Saturday morning, September 11.
Searching for something artistic to sink his talents into during the lockdown, and wanting to spend more time which his six-year-old daughter, Shannon shifted his attention to sand and the beach.
"Work is pretty dull at the moment," Shannon said.
With the much of the State in some form of lockdown or lock-out for much of 2021, Shannon has been unable to show-off his work at the many art exhibitions and showings which brought him business.
Going for an early morning swim, Shannon ended his dip with the creation of lifesize sea turtle.
I produce works that allow the viewer to observe the finer details of nature from a distance.Shannon Stone
Since then his beachside art works have expanded to a seahorse, keys, fairytale castle and six metre snake to the delight of local residents.
Mindful of social distancing rules, Shannon bounces between Black Head, Back and Diamond beaches, shaping his creations away from 'crowds'.
His work has been so popular he has extended an invitation to anyone who would be interested in attending a sand art workshop later in the year.
Shannon's unique work has evolved over a lifetime living in the bush and a passion for art which began on his family's 1000ha property on the outskirts of Coonabarabran.
"I love it especially because I grew up on 2500 acres of bushland about 40-30 kms out of town," he said.
Typical of many bush kids a young Shannon quickly learned how to 'fix things' and improvise.
"This put me in good stead."
His entry into the art work began with lessons on how to make mud bricks from a German builder before moving into carving sandstone and a ceramics course at Lismore TAFE under famed Australian ceramicist Melena Monk.
Now a multi award winning sculptor, Shannon draws inspiration from the flora and fauna of his western NSW hometown
"I produce works that allow the viewer to observe the finer details of nature from a distance."
A strong advocate of recycling, Shannon sources product from construction sites, old farm machinery and junk sites.
"I can source my products for next to nothing; there is enough junk in the world I can repurpose."
More recently Shannon has been collecting beach rocks and shaping these in to work inspired by paintings by Worimi artist Lara Went.
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