Our Sandsculpting Team
Sandstorm Events has access to an amazingly talented sand sculpting team located around Australia and overseas. Our team will bring to life WILD for you to enjoy and experience from Boxing Day, 26th December, 2019. Click on the images below to learn more about our artists.
Kevin has had an incredible journey through life as a nomadic sand gypsy. He has been a professional sand sculptor for 39 years and has won over 11 World Championships in Sand Sculpture competitions. He has worked internationally on big scale projects throughout Europe, Asia, America, Canada, The Middle East and of course his home in Australia. He has been the lead designer on Sandstorm Events Australian Sand Sculpting projects over the past 12 years.
Kevin was most recently the 2018 Australian Sand Sculpting Champion.
Karlina is a new addition to the Sandstorm sculpting team. Karlina is Danish Australian and has been involving herself in arts projects for a long-time including performance art, sculpture and paint. She has worked on and off with sculpture for many years trialling a variety of mediums for the projects. Karlina is super excited to work with and learn from some of the world’s best sand sculptors.
After studying at the art college in Moscow Ilya worked as a jeweler/goldsmith designing and making jewelry for 7 years. While working as a jeweler he began making ice sculptures and found he enjoyed the combination of traveling and sculpting. He quit his jewelry job and continued to study sculpture for 6 more years at the Moscow State Academic Art Institute of Surikov. He has now been sculpting sand since 2005 while traveling all over the world and has taken part in over 130 international sand sculpture events around the world. In 2018 Ilya was a part of a team to create a “Nativity Scene” for the Pope in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
Karen has been shoveling, packing and carving sand sculptures for 25 years! She has a diverse background in multiple forms of sculpture, including clay, stone, snow and polymer. Although she has no formal art training, her passion, curiosity and many incredible mentors lead her to embrace this unusual career. In 1998, she entered her first international sand sculpting contest and by 2001 she was working full time as a free-lance sculptor. To date, Karen has competed in over 123 Masters Level International sand sculpture contests, winning 27 First Place Titles, as well as 5 World Championship titles. Her work takes her around the world, collaborating with sand sculpture companies in Canada, the USA, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Holland, Spain, England, UAE, South Korea and Taiwan.
She started model drawing and painting at the age of 15 and since then studying nature is the base of her art. After many years of painting and sculpting for museums and amusement parks she discovered sand sculpture in 2006. It became a perfect medium to learn and grow as a sculptor. Because of its temporary and high quality, it is much faster to work on a big scale. For Marielle, it is also a way to work with the best and nicest colleagues and to travel and meet wonderful people from different cultures all over the world which makes it even better.
She won the World Championship in 2010 in Federal Way USA with the Matcha’s, the double Sand Sculpture Competition in Parksville Canada in 2015 with David Ducharme and the Dutch Sand Sculpture Championship in Zandvoort the Netherlands in 2011.
Dae Young Ji
Dae Young Ji
Dae Young Ji studied sculpture at University and works in a variety of mediums including sand, rock and snow. He first worked with sand in Australia and is now a regular carver to the Australian exhibitions.
Exploding onto the professional sand sculpting scene in early 2008, Sue McGrew has enjoyed a meteoric rise to international prominence. A decade later, she’s traveled the world to over 60 competitions and dozens of festivals in over 30 countries. Her flowing organic style and expressive figures have won numerous awards in sand, snow and ice. Sue starred on Travel Channel’s TV show “Sand Masters”, a program about the worldwide adventures of a group of American sand sculptors. She later teamed up “Sand Guys International” to break the 2014 Guinness World Record for Tallest Sand Castle in Rio de Janeiro.
Sue hails from the Tacoma, Washington USA. An artist since birth, her childhood was spent doodling in sketch books, folding origami and twisting wire to create paper mache figurines. Sue’s first taste of sand sculpting (besides her backyard sand box) was a huge international sand sculpting festival in Zeebrugge Belgium in 2004. She found herself enamoured by the romantically impermanent medium and spent her summer holidays during college searching out competitions and festivals. Although receiving a BFA in Theatrical Stage Management from the University of Southern California, after graduation Sue chose to follow her love of sand, sun, and travel as a professional sand sculptor.
Today, Sue continues to share the magic of sand sculpting with the world while growing as an artist of many mediums, but until she tires of living out of a gritty suitcase, she devotes herself to the gypsy lifestyle in sand, ice, and snow.
Born in Tasmania, Meg’s art career began at an early age having grown up alongside artists in her family: her grandmother a fine artist and her grandfather an Architect. Meg’s grandparents were huge role models for her and encouraged her love for art. Classically trained as a ballet dancer for 9 years, Meg studied fine art at the Claremont School of Art in Western Australia. Since then, Meg has been a practicing fine artist of large oil paintings for over 36 years. She has immersed herself in a variety of medium which led her to the challenge of sand sculpting for the past 18 years.
Sandstorm Events sand sculpting projects in Australia have provided Meg with seasonal work and the opportunity to travel and work alongside international sculptors for the past 12 years, whilst continuing her passion and love for painting. Working with sand has shown Meg her inner strengths and the importance of letting beautiful things go.
Meg was the Australian Sand Sculpting Champion of 2017 and is the current champion winning the competition again in 2019.
With a background in graphic design and illustration Peter started carving in sand at Sand Sculpting Australia’s 2006 event at Rye. He learnt quick and used the experience as a springboard into other sand projects. Since then Peter has worked steadily around Australia at festivals, events, shopping centres and smaller corporate jobs. He has also worked on international sand sculpting projects in New Zealand, Egypt, Singapore and the Maldives.
Peter placed 3rd in the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships in 2016 and won the doubles competition with Peter Papamanolis in 2019.
In another century Martijn was studying hard to become an architect when some friends came up with the idea to form a team at a sand sculpture competition. At that time making something other than dykes out of sand was a completely alien concept to him, but once he carved his first block of compacted sand he was hooked! Not every sculpture that he made back then remained standing, but through trial and collapse Martijn learned what is and is not possible in all those different types of sand around the world.
When working in sand, Martijn love to combine figurative and abstract sculpture to make pieces that do more than just replicate the world around us. He is always looking for concept or feeling behind the sculpture. This is the way he hopes to engage the audience and, importantly, challenge and motivate himself to create sand sculptures again, and again… and again.
His work consists of participating in big scale events, competitions, demonstrations, workshops in sand, ice and snow but also making sculptures and designs in foam for theme parks and festivals.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to be able to work in quite a number of countries, the list includes Holland, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, England, Italy, Latvia, Georgia, Russia, the United States, Canada, China, Japan, Israel, Thailand, Taiwan and Australia. Martijn was recently a set designer for Tomorrowland in Belgium.
Susanne Ruseler was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands. She started sand sculpting in 2003, while was studying biology and living in Utrecht. One of her friends introduced her to sand sculpture and discovered that she loved creating the artform, so she began sculpting more and more. When she finished her studies, she started her own sculpture company also working with other materials such as snow, ice, foam and concrete. Now Susanne has been sculpting full time since 2008. In her sculptures she likes to create movement and show subtle emotion.
“The great thing about sculpting is that you never finish learning, there are always new things to discover. I really enjoy alternating between materials, but I mostly work with sand, my favourite material. I travel all over the world working on projects, events and competitions”.
Since childhood Leonardo has always been fascinated by nature and space. The first book he bought was “Volcanos.” The Japanese cartoons of the 70’s showed him a world of spaceships, aliens and distant worlds. He spent his whole childhood drawing, modelling coloured plasticine, playing with Lego and in summer making sandcastles at the seaside. The history and beauty of the ancient Italian cities are his second love. He attended the University of Florence. In 1997 the publishing house Fabbri Editori published in Italian his little book for children entitled “I create with the Sand”. He organizes several major international sand sculpture events in Italy. In 1998 in Canada, Leonardo won the world championship of sand architectures.
In 1999 he sculpted his first sand nativity and with the Italian post office they realized a special postmark. In 2015 he published for the sand sculptures museum of Tottori in Japan his second book. He specializes in building large scenic backgrounds, imaginary architecture and is passionate about perspective effects, reliefs and details. Leonardo loves working in a career with great people and being able to travel with som many of his friends.
Jino Van Bruinessen
Jino Van Bruinessen
Born in Holland, Jino came to Australia 36 years ago. He has worked in the Film/TV & Entertainment Industry for over 20 years, including Promotions and Special Events. Starting off in Australia as a watercolour artist, prop maker, sculptor/scenic artist he but became progressively more involved in concept and design. Over the past 15 years his time has been divided between working as an Interior Designer specialising in theming for Clubs, Party Centres, Cinemas, Restaurants, shopping centres and sculpting projects. When at home Jino divides his time with renovating his studio house and his private residence, gardening, and working on a series of oil paintings. What started as a one-off sand sculpture in 1992 for the Sydney City Council in the Rocks has unfolded into a prominent career in the Australian sand sculpting industry. Jino has worked for Sandstorm Events on over 20 large scale Sand Sculpting Exhibitions and over 75 smaller installations over the past 12 years.
Jino has won the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships in 2014 & 2015 and places in 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2019.
Jakub started his sand sculpting career on the beaches of Southern Spain in 2004. After 18 months honing his sculpting skills on the beach he attended his first sand sculpting Festival in Portugal.
Since then he has participated in festivals and competitions all around the World.
He is a sought-after sand sculptor for his ability to carve exceptionally fine detail and forced perspective in the sand. He enjoys following the sun with his profession – and for the past 8 years has worked on Sandstorm Events summer sand sculpting projects.
Jobi is no stranger to sculptures of all forms. He has won numerous world titles in sand sculpting competitions and is a constant globe trotter. Jobi has the utmost respect from fellow sculptors as a very creative and passionate person as well as being just a really nice guy. His ideas are unique and well performed. He travels the world making sand sculptures for commercial events. He hails from French speaking Canada but is fluent in English. Always look for something impressive and unique from this very talented sculptor.
Abe is from Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, has been creating artwork ever since he was old enough to eat crayons; he considered every new diaper a fresh canvas. He began doing commissioned works, largely painting and drawing, in his early teens. After getting into snow sculpting in the early 2000s he was hired as the token local for a sand sculpting exhibit in 2007. Each successive year has brought more sculpting, and more sand, into his life, to where he is now a full time sculptor. Now, working mainly in ephemeral mediums, such as sand and ice, he travels across North America (and occasionally further) to participate in numerous contests and exhibits.
David participated in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in Harrison BC in 2003 and received 2nd place in the solo category, and 1st place in the doubles. This event was pivotal in his artistic development and opened the doors to international competitions and commissions to him.
Since then he has traveled the world participating in sand, ice and snow sculpting events, working alongside great artists he keeps learning from.