By Gabrielle Selz

This week’s opinion essay by Gabrielle Selz was inspired by the current exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, “Sand: Memory, Meaning and Metaphor.” Here, she comments (in italics) on works from the show about how artists reflect on and make use of sand in their work.


All Things are from the Ocean, 2008

Mixed mediaMy son called this the sandcastle room. Not only is the sandcastle made of sand, so is the bearded little man. Is he the sandman? It’s like a little, hidden room, a dusty closet with a fantasy world inside. A few years ago we went to the Amagansette sandcastle competition, which is held in early August each year at Atlantic Beach. Like Beninati, over 300 contestants used sand and other natural elements found at the beach to create their own fantasy world of towers, spires and pyramids. That was the year my son was fascinated with all things dragon like, and so his favorite was a sand dragon, wings spread, flying over the beach. (Courtesy the Artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York).