It’s known for its surfing and long, pristine beaches but tourists have been flocking to Matakana Island in New Zealand for a different reason lately: its artwork.
Sunbathers and surfers have been doing a double-take thanks to a series of impressive 3D drawings that have been appearing in the sand.
The temporary scenes are the creation of Jamie Harkins, Constanza Nightingale and David Rendu who make up 3DSD.
The trio draw the complex designs using just a stick and a selection of rakes.
Nightingale, from Chile, specialises in circular paintings covering themes such as ‘space, the ocean, and the relationships humans have with nature’.
Rendu, from France, is an accomplished sculptor and explores the human form and ocean life.
Meanwhile, Harkins creates colourful paintings, making use of contrast and light.
The New Zealander was inspired by 3D street art and decided to take the concept to the beach on the country’s North Island.
Harkins says the practice requires few materials and has the added bonus of having very large natural ‘canvases’ close at hand.
The artists regularly venture down to the same beach between Mt Maunganui and Matakana Island to experiment in the sand.
Using a simple stick and a selection of rakes they can create textures, contrast and perspective to create an optical illusion.
Crowds often gather to watch the process and the group have recently started to make their work interactive by incorporating people into the scenes.
Designs have included skate ramps, circus scenes, surrealist landscapes – and even a toaster.
In one drawing, a staircase appears to climb out of the sand and continue into the sea while in another, a man appears to launch himself off a diving board into a small paddling pool below.
And the trio bring the sea to the beach by showing a speedboat pulling a man along the sand on waterskies while a woman ‘fishes’ from a pier nearby.
But the drawings are only temporary and disappear when the tide comes in.
3DSD say their work is ‘ephemeral art where time, the communicative act, and directive intent are fundamental.’
The group’s biography states: ‘The artworks provide an acute awareness of time and acts as a metaphor for the brevity of life.
‘As the tide rises and covers the work it is permanently erased from the beach making the art experience transitory unlike pictures hanging in a gallery for a period of time.
‘The works impermanence is also symbolic of many other aspects of daily life.’
To see more of their artwork visit www.facebook.com/3DSDart