Artist Anna Chan Gathers Seashells On The Beach To Create Her Animal Portraits
While the ongoing pandemic has brought about a lot of challenges, it has also come with opportunities. From spending more time with the family to taking up a new hobby, it’s a good thing that many people have managed to stay productive amidst these trying times. New York-based artist Anna Chan is one of the many people who have found a new calling during the lockdown. From designing jewelry, she now creates stunning seashell sculptures of all sorts of animals.
As with many freelancers, Chan’s work was also greatly affected by the pandemic. So, she made the most out of her downtime by spending time with her ten-year-old daughter Isla. Chan would often accompany her to their local beach in Long Island where they would collect seashells. Then one day, she decided to put her creative hands back to work as she began sculpting animals on the sand.
“Having worked on a small scale most of my life, being able to use my entire hands to sculpt large pieces was truly liberating, especially during such trying times. I saw great potential with this new medium and was determined to keep refining my work.”
From designing jewelry, New York-based artist Anna Chan has ventured into creating animal seashell sculptures
Starting off with a sculpture of a turtle, Chan’s initial goal was to make 12 pieces for a calendar that she could “look back on in 2021.” But then, her newfound hobby quickly turned into an “obsession.” So, she decided to move her studio to her garage where her stashes of sand and seashells are. She also revealed that while she has worked with several mediums in the past, working with sand is just an entirely different experience.
“I have worked with clay, wax, metal, fabric etc. in the past but none of them are as intuitive as sand. It is the material I feel the most connection to and my hands just know what to do when I’m creating with it.”
She mixes and matches different seashells to decorate her sand creations and bring them to life
From sea turtles and seahorses to pandas and rhinos, Chan’s pieces mostly feature endangered species in hopes of raising awareness of their current situation. Using a variety of shells, she carefully chooses ones that will best match the animals’ respective features in real life.
“The seashells are like little jewels to me, each one a mosaic piece finding its place in the big picture. I’m inspired by their colors, texture and shapes and even the broken pieces, I find beauty in it.”