We all have memories of childhood times, and while they can be a mix of the good and the bad or the happy or the upsetting, hopefully it is the good / happier times that stand in the majority and be recalled as we progress through life.
For those of us who lived on or near the coast during our formative years, it might be that some of those memories are about trips to the seaside: sploshing through the tide as it rolls up the beach, finding rock pools where some of the creatures of the sea – starfish, sea snails and so on – have found refuge until the tide returns, the sight of crabs scuttling their way over the warm sands, or getting out the bucket and spade to build our own fortresses of the imagination in the form of sandcastles.
With her latest installation, which opened at the start of September, Cica Ghost has offered us the opportunity to tap into those beach time memories and relive the delights of discovery and building on the sand. Called – appropriately enough – Sandcastles, its a joyous celebration of time spent at the seaside, and which offers a salient comment on life itself.
This is a place filled with the kind of sandcastles many of us might have envisioned when playing with buckets and spades: places of high curtain walls, tall keeps and graceful towers, where arches connect courtyards and sand stairs climb up to parapets and upper levels while moats stand guard, spanned by graceful bridges. Only here these designs are writ large by Cica as places we can explore and wander without any danger of accidentally treading on them and breaking them. They are true sand castles, complete the sandy stairs we can climb and wooden ladders ready to access higher levels.
Nor do they stand alone. within their walls and courtyards and across the sands on which they stand are denizens of the sea – starfish, hermit crabs, sea snails – all of them with happy faces, with many having fun we’re invited to join, be it dancing or riding see-saws. while for those who prefer something quieter, in places the sand has been shaped into benches to be sat on, or shells can be found that offer a place to curl up in.
Sandcastles is a place designed to evoke happiness and a sense of child-like release. It is also a reminder that it is important we not only keep hold of memories of happy times, we should make happy times part of the fabric of our lives, to be enjoyed and shared because – as the quote by American author and teacher Jack Kornfield that sits within the setting’s About Land description reminds us – nothing, from castles in the sand to life itself is permanent; the time will come when we will have to let things go (hence the beached whale, perhaps?).
But rather than let thoughts of the latter weigh you down too much, why not head over to Cica’s installation, grab yourself her free starfish wearable pet, and have a little fun amongst the Sandcastles?
- Sandcastles (Luna Sea, rated Moderate)