Sand sculpture museum, another tourist attraction

As many as 150 sculptures on 16 different themes on display

Sand sculpture museum, another tourist attraction

 Chasing her dreams, M N Gowri from the city who created the country’s first Sand Sculpture Museum is receiving good response from visitors merely few days after its launch.

Gowri is among the leading female sand sculptors in the country. After four months of hard labour she has crafted the museum in one acre lush green area, at the base of Chamundi hill. “It was my long time dream to add another unique attraction to the heritage city with eco-friendly art work,” she said.

Gowri, who is pursuing her masters in Fine Arts at KSOU has borrowed Rs 16 lakh from her relatives to complete the work. Around 115 loads construction sand had been used to create 16 themes with 150 sculptures. Most sculptures are a reflection on wildlife, Mysore heritage and three major religions: Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. 

The sculpture revolve around themes including, Mysore Dasara, Islamic culture, marine life, Disney land, zodiac wheel, Goddess Chamundeshwari, eco-friendly Ganesha, Christmas tree and Santa Claus, ancient civilization and tribes of the world, and wildlife.

“My grandfather worked as a conservator of forests in Karnataka, and he spent most of his time observing and photographing animals. His love for animals seems to have rubbed off on me too,” says Gowri, explaining her inclination towards the animal sculptures. Through the art and usage of eco-friendly materials, she wants to create awareness on saving wildlife for the future.

Intricate art

Explaining the tricks behind sculpting, she said that wet sand should be sculpted from top to bottom, and the artist must be careful about making errors, as one cannot go back to the top to make any corrections, she said. 

“Depending on the picture, you visualise the proportions, and translate it on to sand using techniques like compressing (creating mounds) and engraving (creating depth). A single wrong move will lead to the entire work collapsing, and you will to redo it again,” she said, adding how sand art was an unique art form. 

The entire area is protected from sun and rain, and the sculptures can last for almost a year.

First try

Her tryst with sand began with her offering to create the face of Lord Shiva, together with the ‘linga’ and the snake for a festival organised by the Akila Bharatha Veera Shaiva Maha Sabha at Suttur Mutt, Mysore, on sand. 

“That was the first time I was making a sculpture, and when I was done, it impressed even my father Nanjundaswamy, who until then wasn't very keen on my pursuing sand art,” revealed Gowri.  

She completed her diploma in machine tool technology and took up engineering, only to drop out in the second year. The museum is open on all days from 8 am to 6.30 pm, and has an entry fee of Rs 20 and Rs 40.

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