Largest-ever Santa sculpture to enthrall Chandigarh on Christmas

December 25th, 2008 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Amitabh BachchanChandigarh, Dec 25 (IANS) A sand sculptor from Bhubaneshwar is upbeat about his new project — a mammoth sand sculpture of Santa Claus that he completed Thursday morning in the union territory of Chandigarh.Sridhar Das, who has been creating sculptures from sand for the last eight years, said he wants to make the best use of his preferred art form to spread his message of love and peace throughout the world.

“I started my work with the help of three assistants Monday morning and had to complete the sculpture of Santa Claus in a resting posture in the next 36 hours, right on Christmas. We worked all through day and night to complete this sculpture in time,” he told IANS.

Das, a graduate in fine arts from Orissa University, said he increased the size of this sculpture to 72 feet as he wanted to register his feat in the ‘Limca Book of Records’.

“It is the biggest sand sculpture made by any Indian artist in our country as the earlier biggest was around 60 feet. And as far as it is in my knowledge, it is probably the biggest sand sculpture of Santa Claus made by any artist in the entire world,” he said, adding he will approach the record book officials Thursday only.

Das used 50 trucks of sand while making this sculpture at the exhibition ground in Sector 34 here and dedicated it to world peace and harmony.

Das has represented India in sand art competitions across the globe in various countries like the US, Canada and the Netherlands and won accolades all over and many prizes. Nevertheless, the artist is not at all happy with the indifferent attitude of the government towards this dying art form.

“The most demoralising thing is that sand artists do not have any support from the government or any other institution. Whenever I go abroad or at any other place in our country, I have to bear the expenses of my boarding and lodging from my own pocket,” he said.

“Lack of support and step-motherly treatment with the artists is the main reason why we have very few followers of this art form in our country. I seriously urge the government and the corporates to come forward to save this unique art,” Das added.

Das is expert in making the sculptures of various personalities and on various themes. He has made the sculptures of Mahatma Gandhi, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and Taj Mahal and on various themes like degrading environment, AIDS awareness, poverty and global warming.

Taking about his art, he said: “Normally many sand artists use glue or other chemicals while making sand sculptures. However, I do not make use of any such substance and made it in an eco friendly manner. I used only water and sand and they will remain intact for at least next 20 days.”

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