Near Dieppe, poetry and ephemeral art on the sand

Samuel Nicolas’s masterpiece was visible from the cliff of Saint-Martin-en-Campagne, near Dieppe (Seine-Maritime). (© Dieppe Information / EP)

You had to be careful on the beach. Saint-Martin-en-Campagne, near Dieppe (Seine-Maritime), so as not to miss this ephemeral work. As part of the Poets’ Spring, the city of Petit-Caux brought poetry to the arena by inviting Samuel Nicholasartist from Fort-Mahon-Plage, regular at the Beach Art Festival, a unique festival in France that mixes land art and eco-attitude.

“This festival is oriented towards ecology, it allows you to pass on a message in another form of art according to your affinities or your wishes.”

Samuel Nicholasbeach artist

A challenge that has become family

Initially, the beach art is a challenge open to all, where everyone can let their creativity express itself on the sand using non-mechanical primary tools such as the leaf catcher, the rake, the stick or even the rope.

Then gigantic frescoes are born on a surface of 20 meters by 20: ephemeral messages that will go with the tide. You can participate alone or with your family and it is also an opportunity to become interested in the environment, its conservation in a fun way.

Samuel Nicolas started solo in 2016. Puis il a entraîné sa femme et leurs deux filles in 2018 à l’édition famille pour s’amuser et ils ont fini troisième : « Cela nous a tellement plu que l’on a continé, comme a challenge. We relaunched the experiment in the following years. It has become an unmissable event. It is an outlet for everyday life, a way to clear your head, share with the family with a collective decision. My daughters are growing and gaining autonomy, that’s why they participate in the children’s contest”.

The now renowned artist was contacted for Pink October and bras were born in the arena in tribute to women victims of breast cancer. Samuel Nicolás also participates in other themed events such as Halloween, the Telethon, Christmas, many projects already organized or to come depending on the weather.

All in the arena to accept the challenge

Initiations are planned with media libraries, town halls or even schools for a double challenge: an assigned time, that of the tide for an ephemeral and gigantic work that can only really be seen from the height. Only then does the verdict fall and awareness of respect for proportions is realized. We played with the tools for the gradients and with the nuances of the wet sand.

That day in Saint-Martin-en-Campagne, the appointment was given at 1:30 p.m., a little early for the tide, the water was still at pebble level. So at 3:30 p.m., the time of initiation for the public, Samuel Nicolás had not finished yet: he interrupted his work to dedicate himself to the children present before finishing his butterfly at the end of the afternoon.

Videos: currently on Actu

No drone due to the power station to see the final realization, but luckily at Petit-Caux the cliff allowed the masterpiece to be overlooked.

The Fort-Mahon-Plage Beach Art Festival will take place on September 10 and 11, 2022.

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