Sea, sand and sculpture at the East Neuk festival

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The Independent Culture

Sculptor Jamie Wardley has two different sets of tools: drills and saws, and spades and spoons. The former are for the ice sculptures he makes in the Arctic, the latter for what he and a bunch of volunteers will create in four hours between low tide and high tide on Elie Beach in Fife on 4 July. Wardley learnt his art by watching a Norwegian sand sculptor create the Queen and Mr Bean out of sand and water, and he became a regular at sand-sculpting festivals all over the world.

For the East Neuk festival, he will supervise the building of a steam train from 20 tons of sand – 10 metres long, one metre high – on the tide-line, so that for a few magical moments it will look as if the train is coming out of the sea. How will he feel when it's destroyed? "I think it's beautiful," he replies. "The point is not so much the finished thing, more the journey towards getting it done, the huge expenditure of energy. But we will photograph it, as we do our sand drawings." For those who miss it, he's doing a slightly more durable sand sculpture by Tate Liverpool between 15 and 18 July.