An Australian beach has taken the form of an enormous Christmas card, with a heartfelt message from Australia to the UK created in the sand as many in both countries face being unable to travel to the other to visit friends and family.
The enigmatic sand artist known only as Edward – or as ‘the Banksy of Barrow Head’ – created the 70×40 metre long artwork on Raafs beach near Geelong, Victoria in collaboration with Tourism Australia.
The message, “We Will Meet Again” is a reference to the words spoken by The Queen in her national address as the UK entered its first Covid-19 lockdown, it itself a reference to the famous song lyrics by Dame Vera Lynn that spoke of British resilience through crisis.
Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison praised the piece as an example of how we have found new ways to reconnect while travel has been on hold this year. “Edward’s artwork beautifully captures what all Australians are feeling right now – that so many of us miss our families and friends in the UK and all around the world. But like the message in the sand, our separation is only temporary, and we are very much looking forward to the moment when we can welcome our extended family and friends in the UK to Australia once again in the future,” Harrison said.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in December 2019 there were 118,500 visitors to Australia from the UK, the Aussie summer typically drawing many to visit friends and relatives over the warm new year period.