It all began with an email last year from Curro Guerrero inviting us to an arts festival in Santiago Chile. As with lots of early emails about events, we googled Hecho En Casa Festival and we were blown away. So many great examples of art, sculpture and concept. After a few initial emails, we had our first skype chat with Curro, Carolina and Payo, by the end of the conversation we were so excited, it was actually happening, we were going to Chile to make a huge sand sculpture!
We would be making a huge 120 tonne sand sculpture over 10 days for the 2017 Hecho En Casa Festival in Santiago. The team in Chile couldn’t have been better at making sure as much as possible was in place before we arrived. As we would be travelling such a long way, we decided to tag on a bit of travel too, sand sculptors can’t visit Chile and not go to the desert or the beach!
We flew out mid September with Florence and met up with the whole team to start finalising all the preparations before the compaction days in 1 weeks time. We made the forms, shopped for the last few materials, and visited the site. We then went off in a campervan to explore some of the country. We first headed to the coast to see the Humboldt Penguins (Las Damas), then off to see the flowering desert and finally to Valley Del Elqui to see the stars and then back to Santiago to begin the compaction of the giant sand sculpture!
Our friend, Hungarian Sand Sculptor Ferenc Monostori flew in to work on the sand sculpture with us and Jamie’s sister Emma and her friend Maria came from London to look after Florence and have a little holiday.
The compaction was done over 2 long days, the sand was very strong which is always reassuring when making a sculpture so big. We then began creating the sand sculpture. Our location was outside the MAC Museum, Museo De Arte Contemporaneo in the heart of Santiago. We carved for 8 days and some of them were long, but we were joined by many different people everyday who stopped by to see the sand sculpture progressing. The sculpture was 4 metres high, so was quite a presence in the space. During the festival, we kept meeting up with all the other artists who had installations at the festival. Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, Chilean artist Luis Nunez and his team, Australian artists from The Glue Society, and Valeria Merino also from Chile. The organisers, Payo and Felipe got everyone together as much as possible an were amazing hosts, full of energy and enthusiasm for the festival and the city.
By the final day and our adventure coming to an end we were happy to see the sand sculpture finished but sad we would soon be home. In Santiago were made some great friends who we hope to see again. Everyone who is part of the Hecho En Casa, really loves what they do. We can’t thank them enough for making us feel so welcome and making our time there so enjoyable. Special thanks to Payo Sochting, Felipe Zegers, Curro Guerrero, Tote Valenzuela, Carolina Gacitua, Agata Bracci, and of course our producer Ana Quiceno!