Equestrian art breaks new ground: A sand arena

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The warm-up arena in from of Aachen's Deutsche Bank Stadium has been transformed. 
The warm-up arena in front of Aachen’s Deutsche Bank Stadium has been transformed. © Martin Stockberg

A German artist has created sand art at the showgrounds at Aachen, with his canvas a 70m by 70m arena.

Martin Stockberg
Martin Stockberg

Martin Stockberg says he never used to play in a sandpit as a child. Growing up in the country, he was more at home in the forests and the meadows. But taking a rake and heading out to the warm-up area in front of the Deutsche Bank Stadium, he spent nearly four hours creating his latest masterpiece.

There is little preparation time: Stockberg measures the ground, does a sketch and practices one or two strokes. The rest is craftsmanship and a keen sense for the right direction.

Full of concentration, the designer does his rounds, almost as if meditating he pulls the rake beside and behind him.

His pieces of art are intended to serve as “interrupters” that tear people out of their everyday routines, make them curious and attract attention.

A bird’s eye view is necessary to see what the 52-year-old has drawn. It is the CHIO Aachen logo, the pictogram of the five disciplines of jumping, dressage, eventing, driving and vaulting.

“I am not doing anything different than in my profession as a designer and advertiser,” Stockberg says.

Transience is simply part of art. This art lasts up until the next horse. He often also carves drawings in the sand on beaches, then the pieces of art last until the next tide.

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