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Calling All Families to Turn Sandcastles into Art

A unique project is coming to Swansea Beach this May Bank Holiday and it needs the help of local children, families, communities, art and beach lovers to help build art in the sand.

The event is being run by staff from Glynn Vivian Art Gallery on behalf of artist Katie Paterson as part of her initiative First There is a Mountain.

It will see bucket and spade handlers of all ages and abilities create a one-off art installation on Swansea Beach. They will build hundreds of sandcastles in the shape of famous mountains.

Karen McKinnon, curator of the Glynn Vivian, said: "It will be wonderful to see the people of Swansea enjoy this experience. Their unique participation will be essential to the evolution of this artwork and experience.

"We are looking for Swansea residents and visitors to take part in a number of ways - as a volunteer and guide, as a mountain range builder or as a spectator of this unique and spectacular event. It will be a great day out for all the family!"


The First There is a Mountain Project

First There is a Mountain is a UK-wide participatory artwork event taking place this summer in 25 locations around the UK, from Swansea to Inverness. It will visit many galleries in Plus Tate network, a group of visual arts organisations that share ideas, experiences, practices and programmes. 

The Glynn Vivian is a partner of Tate, and exchanges programmes, ideas and skills with the Plus Tate network.

First There is a Mountain will visit Swansea over the May Bank Holiday weekend on Sunday the 5th May from 2pm until 3pm on the beach next to the Civic Centre.

Participants will use a specially designed set of fully bio-compostable buckets and spades in the form of world mountains to sculpt beaches into thousands of miniature mountain ranges.

Each set will include a scale model of a world-famous mountain such as

  • Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa
  • Mount Shasta in USA
  • Mount Fuji in Asia
  • Stromboli in Europe
  • Uluru in Oceania

LATEST NEWS Mountain Uluru in Oceania

The Creatives Involved

New pieces of writing commissioned to accompany the artwork's journey include one by Swansea born art writer Lizzie Lloyd. This will be read aloud at the start of the event.

The artist Katie Paterson said: "From early childhood we understand that sand marks time. First There is a Mountain builds upon this concept, making us aware of the erosion of mountain rocks over millennia, rock shifting across Earth through the evolution of continents, forming unique fingerprints of sand across our modern coastline.

"The artwork invites people to slow down and consider the interconnectedness of the world, its immensity conveyed in miniature."

Glynn Vivian would love you to join them and if you wish to find out more about how to take part please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..





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