Every day, sometimes twice a day, Wayne heads to the beach on low tide. He says he has to. There's creativity in him, and he needs to get it down on the sand. We have a history of sand art here in New Brighton, and like those before him, Wayne's taken up the tradition.
We have a history of sand art here in New Brighton, and like those before him, Wayne’s taken up the tradition.
“For myself it’s a mental health tool, it’s my soul food!”
Throughout Wayne’s life he’s struggled with his mental health. The one thing that’s truely helped to calm the “chaos” in his head, is coming to the beach, and dragging a rake through the sand.
“I’m extremely addicted to it!”
Doing something with your hands is proven to help calm your mind, and when you enjoy tasks like this you can enter into what’s called a flow state. Flow is associated with decreasing brain activity, so what Wayne is doing, is like he says, is quite literally quieting the chaos in his mind.
Add to that that being in green and blue spaces is also proven to improve mental health, and that being able to see a horizon line makes people more relaxed, Wayne has found a recipe that works for him with his sand art.
And it doesn’t just benefit him. Wayne’s become quite the local celebrity with his art, often doing commission pieces for people, or something on a relevant subject for the time. He’s even captured the attention of Mike King, and Gumboot Friday.
To see Wayne’s artwork, catch him on a low tide at the beach. The Pier makes the perfect grandstand to stand and watch him while he works, which is a calming experience in itself.
Check out our video on Peter Donnelly, another local artist, who did sand art in New Brighton for decades.
Historical photos from Christchurch City Libraries, and The New Brighton Museum.