Sand sculptures are one of Ross Bannister's favourite art forms and, it would seem, the bigger the better. At times a sculpture can take him up to a week to complete and may use several tonnes of sand, which is trucked in to the site and scooped into special supporting forms by machinery.
This is when the creative use of proportion, balance, texture and line begins as Ross shovels, smooths and moulds forms and features into larger-than-life representations of his subject.
Interested in the spiritual dimensions of experience, Ross also
enjoys portraying stories, so myths and legends often feature in his
repertoire of sand sculptures.
What’s that emerging from the sand at the Northern end of Four Mile Beach?
It’s a Brahman Cow!
Recently arrived in Port Douglas, sculptor, illustrator and painter, Ross Bannister, had travelled widely and was delighted to have settled in this beautiful part of the world. Trained in the visual arts in Malaysia and Sydney, Australia, he had absorbed much from the philosophies of the Asian countries where he had lived and worked.
“It is the love of sand, sea and beach culture that has led me to
explore my art in such an idyllic setting”, he told me as we chat over
But the next time we meet there’s no time for chat as he began the
hard work of shifting loads of wet sand for his first Port Douglas
beach sculpture, which turned out to be an erect and serene Buddha
figure, nestled under the coconut trees at the edge of the beach. The
forces of nature eventually turned that ephemeral masterpiece into –
you've guessed it - a pile of sand!
So we agreed to meet the following Saturday when, along with interested locals and visitors to the small resort town, I got to meet Brahman Cow as she emerged from the weathered building blocks of millions of tiny grains of sand. There is a spiritual element to most of Ross’s artwork so it was intriguing to wonder what being may have lain beneath piles of sand, ready to emerge.
Ross enjoys working with beach sand but he also creates large,
commissioned sculptures in gardens or public spaces using tonnes of sand
for special occasions, such as corporate events and weddings. He also
enjoys running special workshops in making sand sculptures for children
or for team-building activities with adults.
No longer living in Port Douglas, Ross is still very active in the Arts Scene in Queensland.
To enquire about sculpture or print-making workshops with Ross or to commission the building of
eye-catching sand sculptures for your corporate or other special event
please or visit
Temple Garden Sculptures - raku fired clay