Sand Prints is a series of ephemeral art created by environmental artist Ahmad Nadalian. Each site-specific piece is a small sculpture naturally blended into a beach or desert landscape. The sculptures become a part of the surrounding land and provide viewers with the opportunity to explore, touch, and even disrupt the final images.
In all of his work, the artist redefines ancient rituals and symbols in contemporary ways. This project is inspired by an ancient printing technique that used carved cylinders to create repeating patterns. Nadalian’s modern-day carvings include living creatures like fish, snakes, and crabs, as well as floral patterns that he rolls along the surface of the sand to produce the long rows of repetitive illustrations.
The beauty of each piece is that the loose earth can hold the designs for only so long before the wind disrupts the arrangement or the tide washes it away. Through this fleeting process, Nadalian believes he is making an offering to the Earth, hoping to heal the spirit of our neglected environment. He says, “Art offers a blessing and hope for harmony with the past, with the earth, and the heavens.”