Sand mountain ranges set for Aberdeen Beach this Sunday

Visitors to Aberdeen Beach this Sunday (23 June) can help sculpt the beach into hundreds of mountains of sand. First There Is a Mountain by artist Katie Paterson connects participants in 25 coastal art venues around the UK to the world’s mountain ranges.

Paterson has created a set of buckets in the form of world mountains, which will be used to build sand mountain ranges across Aberdeen Beach. Each bucket is a scale model of one of five mountains: Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Shasta (N. America), Mount Fuji (Asia), Stromboli (Europe), and Uluru (Oceania), nested together in a set. Fifty sets of buckets and spades will be available on the day.

The artwork arrives in Aberdeen as part of a tour of 25 high-profile coastal art organisations, choreographed over the period of British Summertime, from 31 March to 27 October 2019. The project is the product of years of planning by the artist, matching tide timetables and “looking at every single mountain range on earth”. Paterson carefully selected each mountain using exacting research and data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

The sand pails are made from 100% fermented plant starch and are fully bio-compostable. At the end of the tour they will be composted, reabsorbing back into the natural environment from which they were created and ensuring all participating beaches are left as they were.

Artist Katie Paterson said: “From early childhood we understand that sand marks time. First There is a Mountain plays out the world’s natural geography and geology against the sea’s tidal times, as each mountain is formed and eroded within the cycle of a day. The artwork invites people to slow down and consider the interconnectedness of the world, from shifting coastlines across millennia, to our own eroding coastline.”

Twenty five new texts have been written for the project, including A Vestibular System, written for the Aberdeen event by Maria Fusco, Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University. It will be read aloud by Barry Donaldson in both English and Doric at 2.30pm.

First There Is a Mountain is presented in Aberdeen by Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums and the Creative Learning Team, both part of Aberdeen City Council.

Ahead of the event Creative Learning have been working with families in the Cummings Park Community Flat as part of their Geronimo project, which introduces children and their parents to creativity and risk in play.

Participants are invited to share images of their sand mountain sculptures on Aberdeen Beach on Instagram using the hashtag #firstthereisamountain

Event details:Katie Paterson:First There is a MountainSunday 23 June, 2pm-4pm, Aberdeen Beach, free.Meet near the public toilets on Lower Promenade, close to the Beach Ballroom.Find out more at www.firstthereisamountain.com