Out of South Africa comes the truly unique work of Andrew van der Merwe – beach calligraphy, he calls it. Andrew writes about his work: “If a calligrapher is someone who loves writing, then I have been a calligrapher since my very first writing lessons. Or is it just a love for women? I dunno but I did think the teacher who gave me all those gold stars was beautiful! Either way, it wasn’t women who had me breaking my academic trajectory in philosophy and politics, but calligraphy. To help pay my way, I started freelancing while I was at university and went full time soon after that.
I also love the surf and the beach and have always enjoyed scratching words in the sand with sticks. Sticks make more of a mess than a mark, so this led to the special shaping of the sticks and to the development of various instruments to achieve better results and ultimately to ways of cutting the sand out to leave a neat V. The V was a great discovery, not only for its neatness and shadow, but because it sets up a lovely contrast between the typical, permanent V of stone carving and the wonderful, temporal quality of the beach calligraphy.
I also developed ways of avoiding footprints, and this is often what impresses people most, but for me the real challenge remains getting the letter forms good. Any calligrapher will understand that!”
Above is just a small sampling of his work. He has more online at www.behance.net/beachscriber, and you can buy prints at www.beachscriber.artfire.com or www.beachscriber.imagekind.com.