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Andres Amador meditates alone

in the centre of his

Cathedral Cove mandala.



Andres was in NZ for about three months,

spending half that time on the peninsula,

raking his designs on our pristine beaches.

“I loved being on the Coromandel,” he told

us. “We spent more time in this area than

anywhere else – only the far north got as much

attention. You have a special country, which I

think you already know!” Below, he begins a

project on Clark Island near Whangamata.



NZ born

Jonathan Clark

was thrilled to reconnect to the country and in

particular the Coromandel, where family ties go back generations. His father

grew up in Whangamata and later Jonathan would spend many memorable

family holidays at their bach there. “When I left New Zealand 17 years ago to

see the world, the Coromandel beaches were often popping up in my dreams,

like some sort of DNA intertwined with me.”

This award-winning cinematographer/photographer met ‘Earthscape Artist’

Andres Amador in 2009 at the quirky Burning Man desert arts festival (see Jonathan’s photo

essays on his website). “We reconnected after I wound up living in San Francisco three years

later and – sure enough – Andres was doing his art on the beaches there. We fell into some sort of

a natural groove where he would create the art on the beach, and I would use any technological

means to document it. Much like musicians in a band jamming together until they find a harmony

that syncs, which leads us to where we are right now.”

Jonathon documents Andres’ creative process in film as he draws the sand mandalas on the

California coastline. Though his work with Amador primarily involves capturing stunning aerial

sandscapes, his other photo projects draw him to foreign lands where he engages, eye-to-eye,

with the people. “My photos are all about people and their environment”, he shares. “It is this

very essence of humanity that also allows me to understand myself. The camera allows me to

capture the common element in every human being, their soul and the soul of a place. These

common elements help me to bridge connections between cultures on the planet and our

relationship to one another.”

Jonathan’s professional specialities range from cinematography, motion graphics, photo

journalism and commercial photography. He brings his directing and editing skills to

commercials, corporate videos, documentaries and music videos.

His images have graced the pages of

National Geographic, National Geographic Traveller,


Lonely Planet.

And his talents have won him numerous awards such as 2011’s National

Geographic Photo Contest (Arts & Music category), and several of Canada’s Prix du Public

‘Objectif Plateau’. In NZ, he was a finalist for the 2008

New Zealand Herald’s

Kiwi OE award.

His ongoing work with Andres Amador includes a feature length movie,

Capturing Impermanence


based on their ‘Lines Across the Earth’ project. See more at


International Sand Artist

Few of us can create a repeating pattern on an A4 sheet of paper

even with the aid of technical drawing equipment, let alone

conceive of a scale-accurate pattern that would cover an entire

sandy beach. But Andres Amador has perfected this skill. So

what is the back story of this precision sand artist? And what

brought him to our country to delight us with his incredible art on

our sandy beaches?

Born and raised in San Francisco, Andres graduated in Environmental Sciences from UC Davis.

He then served in the Peace Corps where he developed conservation education curricula for rural

schools in Ecuador. Upon his return he began his exploration journey into the art world immersing

himself in a variety of artistic expressions from dance and movement to painting and sculpture.

Andres was drawn to ancient geometric art after studying crop circle reconstructions and did his

first ‘sand painting’ in 2004 on a beach near his home. He was inspired to the current theme of his

work which he terms ‘Earthscape Art’ while he explained aspects of geometry to a friend. “I was

creating circles and triangles on the beach with a walking stick. It occurred to me that I could do

these designs in the sand – that their size could be virtually unlimited.”

Although his artworks do not last long, Andres does not grieve their loss

but revels in this transience, saying this confirms how regenerative both

nature and man can be.

Andres’ work has not gone unnoticed being featured on the BBC, CNN,

Discovery Channel, and numerous TV programmes including TVNZ

One News and Seven Sharp in NZ, and periodicals globally. Many of

his works have been featured internationally, some commissioned

by corporates and individuals in the US and Europe. His artwork has

appeared on beaches in the US and internationally, with his primary

canvas being the Northern California coastline.

Amador also holds workshops that encourage participants to unite to

create sand art while exploring the value of collaborative expression.

See page 14 for more info, a list of resources, print products, and web links.

See an

d Andres’ FB page to follow his progress

and be alerted to his ‘sand schedule’.

Award winning Kiwi photographer Jonathan Clark

captures the artistry of sand artist Andres Amador.

Andres Amador with

wife Ember and son

Kavi, age two.



continued on page 11

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