Forget Jaws: beaches all over the planet are being invaded by an alarming number of weird human figures, usually described as ‘art’. This petrifying plethora have popped up in some of the world’s prettiest coastal spots. Just when you thought jellyfish and Speedos were all you had to be scared of at the seaside. You have been warned…
1. Olhar nos meus sonhos, Botafogo Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Giving Christ the Redeemer a run for his money, this temporary sculpture sprang up on a Rio beach last September. The 12 metre tall creation by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa portrays the head of a 14 year old girl. The name tranlates to ‘To See My Dreams’ and Plensa says he hopes the sculpture will ‘make people dream’. Is that dream, or have nightmares? That passing fisherman seems decidedly unimpressed.
2. Another Place, Crosby, Liverpool, UK
Since Antony Gormley’s 100 life-size, naked ‘Iron Men’ were installed at Crosby Beach in 2005, they’ve changed. Whilst some of the sculptures still have their original smooth form, others have acquired barnacles and seaweed for a monstrous, creature-of-the-deep look. Barnacles or no barnacles, this world-famous installation makes a pretty eerie picture.
3. Verity, Ilfracombe, Devon, UK
Not content with suspending dead cows in formaldehyde, British artist Damien Hirst took things to a whole new level by creating Verity. Brandishing a sword, the 22 metre tall pregnant woman is helpfully cross-sectioned on one side, so you can see her internal organs, muscles and foetus. Just what you need when you’re tucking into your ice cream. Isn’t she lovely?
4. A Room Where it Always Rains, Barcelona, Spain
Spare a thought for these creepy characters in Barcelona. As they gaze longingly at the beach bums around them, their faces appear to melt. To make matters worse, they’re mounted on ridiculous spherical bases – and stuck inside a cage. The installation, by Juan Munoz, was installed as part of the Olympic Games celebrations back in 1992 and has been on the beach ever since. Well, would you dare to take it down?
5. Couple, Newbiggin-by-the-sea, Northumberland, UK
Mention giant pieces of public art in the North East of England and most people instantly think of Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North. But there’s a relative newcomer on the scene in the form of Sean Henry’s Couple. Nicknamed Ebb and Flo, the five metre high bronze man and woman appear to be enjoying a jolly day out at the seaside (if standing on a breakwater in the North Sea wearing short sleeves can be described as a jolly day out.) No wonder they’re not holding hands.
6. Hand of Harmony, Homigot Beach, South Korea
“Hi Mum!” This gargantuan, greenish hand waves at thousands of visitors to Homigot Beach from the sea. Its counterpart pokes out of dry land nearby. When seagulls perch atop the fingertips, they look a little bit like claws. Apparently, it’s best viewed at sunrise.