His ephemeral work is swallowed by the rising tide. A show “Almost exciting” about an hour and a half which the Alsatian Patrick Straub, on vacation in Sables-d’Or, between Erquy and Fréhel, attends to the end. Until the last minute. Until his mandala made on the sand disappears entirely. He will still have the photos, beautiful images immortalized by his drone.

“It’s just breathtaking!” “

For the past five years, the 64-year-old former visual arts educational consultant, who began his career as a teacher, has been a fan of beach art. “I have always been passionate about the plastic arts”, slides the vacationer, who comes to Brittany almost every summer. The first time was in 1979, after her marriage. “We had discovered Mont Saint-Michel and the north Brittany coast. It’s just breathtaking! “

Land art and beach art

Beach art is, in a way, the continuity of the land art that the self-taught has practiced for fifteen years. And it was Brittany that inspired it. “I found that the seaside suited it well. There are spaces, materials…, he rewinds. I practice narrative land art, to tell stories. “ His first work was “Highlighting the lines in the landscape by playing on the edges of the rocks with algae”. It was in Les Sables-d’Or-les-Pins, where he returned to vacation ten days ago.

The author of several works on the pedagogy of the plastic arts, including one on land art with children, has already drawn eight mandalas on the beaches of Erquy (Saint-Michel, Le Guen, Portuais) and Fréhel (Sables-d ‘Now, the Pit). Rosettes, a water turtle, a butterfly… “Each time it’s different. “ These giant drawings are unstoppable and appealing. “People ask me questions … How long do I take, the size …” Reply : “ Between two and three hours, about fifty meters in diameter … ” His basic recipe: “ You need a compact, beautiful, white sand, which does not mark time. “

“I was asked if it was for the aliens”

The butterfly made on Wednesday, it must have been a rosette at the start. “I heard walkers talking about the wings of a butterfly and here is the result!” I dedicate it to my granddaughter Eva, 8, who lives in Russia. She was to spend the summer with us. It’s a way of showing her that we think about her a lot ”, tells with tenderness the attentive grandfather.

In the beginning, “I was tracing geometric figures of stellar inspiration, spirals, rings … I was asked if it was for extraterrestrials”, laughs the smiling sixty-something behind his glasses. Today, make way for mandalas “More elaborate, with more details”, describes the former teacher, who is assisted by his wife Marie-Thérèse to draw the mandalas.

The tide controls everything

“The motif is not a priority, brush the creative, who works with a rake. The most important thing is to keep pace with where I am. “ Tide schedules control everything. “I’m becoming almost Breton, a bit like a sailor”, launches the Alsatian. When the mandala is erased by the rising sea, “I am often told that it is a pity that it disappears, but on the contrary, it takes even more value! One lady even told me that seeing one of my mandalas was her gift of deconfinement… ”


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