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Artists from Sand In Your Eye were joined by 26 children, and their families on New Brighton Beach on the Wirral peninsular on the morning of the 31st May. They were there to install 26 ice sculptures of children, as well as creating a giant 120m sand drawing of the words “COP26, NET ZERO 2050, make a plan for our future”.  The beach art was made to highlight the importance of the upcoming global climate conference COP26.  The children held plaques with the names of the global leaders of the top 26 polluters in the world, they appealed to those politicians to make a plan for their future and helped to make a film of the event.   

© Craig Cunliffe

The 26 ice sculptures depict children; they are a metaphor for the fragility of our young people’s future in the face of climate change. As the ice children melted in the hot summer sun, they symbolised the melting ice caps, and rising sea levels as the tide comes over them. Claire and Jamie of Sand In Your Eye have two children of their own, the more they learnt about climate change, the more concerned they became as parents so they were determined to make an artwork that would speak about their worries.

© Craig Cunliffe

Human beings are the cause of climate change and rising carbon levels in the atmosphere. We have the opportunity to make a change now before it becomes unstoppable, it is evident that this is what young people want.  They will inherit our future world as well as our future economy and those countries and industries that adapt and embrace the green revolution will prosper.

Each ice sculpture was joined by a child holding a plaque with the name of a global leader as a personal call to action.  

The ice sculptures were set within a giant 120m sand drawing of text calling out to the world leaders to make a change for the childrens futures.  The letters were so large that the children and their families could draw within them the future that they would like to see.

© Craig Cunliffe

It was a lovely sunny day at the beach, and plenty of people were having fun in the half term sun and enjoying traditional beach activities around the sand art but everybody taking part in the sand art was determined that the gravity of the artworks message was felt by those watching in person and the photographs and films that would be seen by people across the UK and the world. The sand drawing and ice sculptures featured in national newspapers and media outlets such as the Independent, the Metro, the Evening Standard, on the ITV website, and an image of the sand drawing, including the childrens drawings was used by the Guardian to headline their story about greenhouse gases that day. There were even reports as far afield as Oman, India and Malaysia!


As the tide came in and washed the sand drawing away and knocked over the melting ice sculptures, it was a poignant reminder that the day was over and whilst the artwork would disappear the climate emergency still goes on and the children would continue to make their voices heard.

© Craig Cunliffe

The event was self-funded by Sand In Your Eye and supported by Bezmond films, as well as 100 volunteers.  Thanks to all the children who took part and their families, our volunteers, Wirral Council, and Natural England.

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