Andres Amador: Earthscape Artist

EARTHSCAPE ARTIST ANDRES AMADOR | DESTINATION CALIFORNIA, USA

“FOLLOW YOUR BLISS”

WE COULD NOT HAVE PUT IT WISER. NOR FOUND A MORE PEACEFUL, HAND-MADE WAY TO HONOUR MOTHER EARTH WITH THE DIGNITY SHE BURNS FOR, WITHOUT TAKING HER NATURAL BEAUTY AWAY.

ANDRES AMADOR IS THE EARTHSCAPE ARTIST WHO’S ARTWORK IS BEING APPRECIATED ALL OVER THE WORLD. NOT IN THE SENSE OF ‘COLLECTOR PIECES’. RATHER, ‘BEAUTY OVER POSSESSION’ WITH AN ENCHANTING CONNECTION TO LOCATION.

WE ARE DELIGHTED TO SHARE ANDRES’ TRANQUIL CREATIONS AS ‘MIND OVER MATTER’ TREASURES CRAFTED, BUT NOT TAKEN, FROM MOTHER NATURE FOR YOUR PLEASURE. ARTWORK THAT CAN NEVER BE BOUGHT. ONLY SLOW-MADE IN RHYTHM WITH OUR PRECIOUS PLANET EARTH. NOW THAT’S SOMETHING TO LEARN FROM.

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MOST SURPRISING LOCATION  (Ireland) In Ireland I found a beach that acts as a road between the mainland and a tidal island. The span was enormous and I could complete two huge works during one low tide. Artwork: ‘Celtic Star.’

MOST SURPRISING LOCATION (Ireland)
In Ireland I found a beach that acts as a road between the mainland and a tidal island. The span was enormous and I could complete two huge works during one low tide. Artwork: ‘Celtic Star.’

Wow! Your artwork is truly mesmerising. Not only for their super-sized scale in beautiful locations, but because they demonstrate the true meaning of ‘nothing lasts forever’. How does it make you feel to watch your precious works being totally erased at the mercy of Mother Nature?
At first, I was more attached to my creations but the ephemeral quality of this art form has more impact on me now. These days I actually feel a sense of relief. From concept to design and then execution, once I have completed a piece I feel ok to let go without holding on. 

Of course my goal is to fully accomplish a piece and take photos too. It can be disappointing when a returning tide prevents that. I’ve had times, (prior to drones) when I finished my work and would run up the hill only to see a wave consume part of the artwork. That can be frustrating, but the disappointment is temporary as the greater appreciation for what I am doing is the true focus… communing with nature and creativity, without holding on to the result. 

Your work is a great example of ‘beauty over possession’. Original artwork that can never be bought, owned or sold. This is a rare form of art in a commercial world. How do you find your way in the art scene?
While it is true that no one can possess my temporary artworks, I do have photos from which I make beautiful prints to sell. I also lead workshops in the experience of collaborative, expressive, nature-based art and also lead work teams for personal and team building experiences. 

The locations you explore look like sacred finds off the tourist trail. How do you choose your next tidal canvas?
I love exploring coastlines and beaches. I often use satellite imagery, particularly when traveling to a new country, when looking for potential locations to scout. Though the essential research is done on the ground. Satellites don’t show what the tide is doing, the slope of a beach, graininess of the sand or how a beach can change with the seasons. Any place I do go requires repeat visits. Especially when I find a compelling location, which for me is one with ample space and unique features that can offer inspiration and engagement possibilities. I can develop a relationship and then design artworks specifically for that location, by visiting a few times prior.

Although short-lived, your creations are like impressions of a primitive time? Do you feel an energy on location, or is there something tribal that you are connecting with in all of your work?
I’ve taken to calling the beach artworks ‘Geoglyphs’. I once flew over the Nazca Lines, Peru, which left such an impression on me that I had one of the designs tattooed on myself. During my travels to ancient cultures, I like to connect to the remnants of cultures left behind with their impressions on the land. Like the stone walls of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, or Native American mounds. They all have left an impression on me. I believe they are like messages from the past, integrated into the landscape. I especially like when my own work starts to dry out in some spots, like faded memories of a once mighty culture.

Drones have created a wonderful new dimension for image creators all over the world. Is this something that has inspired your quest to impress from an arial scale?
My artwork came years before drones were a thing. I was relegated to working at locations with a view point, which with all the other considerations required, narrowed my options greatly. 

In 2010, I started researching ways that I could get higher up. I looked into kite photography, extension poles, helium balloons and then I came across drones, which at that time were for hobbyists cobbling together components to create something workable. Luckily around that time the first DJI Phantom came out. It didn’t include a camera though. A camera was attached to a Go Pro and flown by sight. 

I’ve owned every version of the DJI drones since. From my first attempt, when I strapped my phone and set an interval timer mode I could see the potential, which indeed has inspired my work. Capturing the perspective from any angle rather than a limited one-angle view from a clifftop. This allows me now to truly work with more features of the landscape. Creating artwork with a more intimate relationship to its landscape then ever before.

You must feel a sense to work quickly if racing against an incoming tide. What do you love most when ‘in the (sand) zone’? It looks like it could be a very therapeutic process.
I do indeed feel a sense of therapy with the whole process. From researching tides and exploring a beach, to figuring out how to work in with the location and what I will design. I work barefoot in the sand with the sound of waves while in the fresh air. But when I’m in motion, it’s a non-stop process. I had film crew with me once who assumed I would look much more relaxed while working, but I become hyper focused and constantly on the move, sometimes running if my ambitions are stretching the friendship of an incoming tide. In the act of creation I am focused but the overall experience is very therapeutic.

Have you ever had a commission to create your magic for an event or campaign?
I receive frequent commission requests and have worked with many organisations and brands. ‘Gratitude’ is one example that I did for GT’s Kombucha.

Art by Andres Amador. Filmed by Jonathan Clark

SHIBUI PAPER PLANES no.16 | Published by SHIBUI & CO.

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