Sunday Special – La Mano de Punta del Este (or The Hand of Punta del Este) – Uruguay


Since February 1982, Uruguay’s Punta del Este has been home to this famous sculpture by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal. Located on Brava Beach, in the popular resort town, stands the concrete and plastic statue of fingers struggling out of its sandy location. Irarrázabal created the iconic artwork during the first International Meeting of Modern Sculpture in the Open Air. La Mano has become one of the most recognized pieces of beach art and has been photographed by media and tourists alike. In fact, the popularity of La Mano prompted Irarrázabal to create similar works of art in Madrid, The Atacama Dessert (Chile) and Venice.

SONY DSC

La Mano de Punta del Este – Photo credit:  Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Rosina Piexoto 

By Rosina Peixoto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

the_hand_281445516439829_28229

La Mano / The Hand at night – Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Marcelo Campi

By Marcelo Campi from MVD, Uruguay (The hand) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

Sunday Special – Rock Garden of Chandigarh, India


While in India, D and I were told that we should see the Rock Garden of Chandigarh. When I first heard of it I immediately thought of a flower-related rock garden since that is what is in my mom’s front yard. This rock garden is nothing of the sort. Rather, it is a very cool and interesting 10 hectare/25 acre outdoor sculpture museum. The garden and its artwork work was created solely by Nek Chand, a self-taught artist. He began to make sculptures in secret beginning in 1957. He found inspiration in the debris found during the construction of the city of Chandigarh. He utilized objects such as tiles, glass, ceramics, wires and the like. He scoured demolition sites and steadily formed art from all these recyclable items. Since the location he chose for his garden was on a protected conservatory (near Sukhna Lake), what he was doing was illegal. As a result,  he created his art at night for almost 20 years. When local authorities found out about the then 12 acre garden its future was uncertain.  In hopes of saving his art, Nek Chand turned to the public to garner support and it worked. And then in 1986 it was designated a public space. Today it is one of India’s most visited sites and I am very grateful and glad I had a chance to see this unique place. Nek Chand who, sadly passed away in 2015, shows us that art can be make from just about anything.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju/Wanders The World

Sunday Special – Dude Chilling Park, Vancouver


How often does a prank end up becoming an official art installation? Well at least once. Here in my city of Vancouver that exact thing happened. It was just  a bit fun that ended up becoming permanent after the locals in the neighbourhood thought it fitting to the area.

Back in 2012 a then mystery prankster decided to replace an official park sign with one that mimed the exact signs posted by the Vancouver Park Board, but with a different name. Guelph Park in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood was, according to the signage, now given a new name – a cool name – a name to reflect a long standing sculpture by artist Michael Dennis. The name placed upon this fictitious park placard was “Dude Chilling Park”.  Since the sculpture resembled ‘a dude chilling in the park’ it was a suitable change. Alas, the false sign was removed by officials, much to the disappointment of the neighbourhood. So much so that a resident of the area set up a petition to garner support. It worked. With 1,500 signatures in favour of reinstating the sign, Parks Vancouver did just so in 2014. And there you go, sometimes a prank goes awesome!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – User: The Interior

Dude Chilling Park sign, Vancouver, BC

Dude Chilling Park sign, Vancouver, BC

Photo Credit – City of Vancouver Public Art Registry

Reclining Figure by Michael Dennis

Reclining Figure by Michael Dennis

Sunday Special – Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England


Now that I am back into a more-or-less regular routine here in Vancouver I have decided to bring back “Sunday’s Special Spot” but with a bit of a change. Instead of a location or landmark I will also feature events. Travel is not only about just seeing a place – in many cases it is about partaking in a event. So Sunday will be about places, events and features around the globe. Some I may have visited, others are waiting to be visited and still more are to be showcased whether I decide to visit or not. Oh and one more change – as you have seen in the title, it is now known as “Sunday Special”.  Happy travels!

————————
YORKSHIRE SCULPTURE PARK

Located on both the borders of West and South Yorkshire on Bretton Hall Estate parkland in England, I was lucky enough to visit this open-air museum. I had been invited to see the sculpture park by an acquaintance but could not attend when they were going. I was so intrigued by this open area filled with art that I went shortly after that on my own. YSL’s 50 acres of fields and rolling hills are a great way to walk in fresh air and see the permanent and temporary displays of modern sculpture. I do admit that I had expected more sculptures however, it was still interesting and a good way to spend a sunny afternoon. Below are some of the photo I snapped.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju/Wanders The World

Iron Spirit by Ai Weiwei

Iron Spirit by Ai Weiwei

Sitting Lady-Hare by Sophie Ryder (my favourite statue at the park)

Sitting Lady-Hare by Sophie Ryder (my favourite statue at the park)

Ten Seated Figures by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Ten Seated Figures by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Budda by Niki de St Phalle

Budda by Niki de St Phalle