Puri, Jan 28:
Internationally known sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik had a pleasant surprise in store for him on Tuesday.
Long used to creating sand sculptures celebrating events and personalities, Sudarsan, for a change, found himself the subject of a sculpture on what has come to be known as his playground: the Puri beach.
His students paid a unique tribute to him on being conferred with the coveted Padma Shree this year by creating a 5 ft high sand sculpture of him with the message ‘Congratulations Padma Shri’ on the Puri beach. They used 3 tons of sand, including some colour sand, to create the sculpture.
Sudarsan was certainly touched by the gesture of his students. “I can’t express my feelings in words. It’s a huge honour for me. Above all, I am happy that the art has got recognition in our country. I would like to believe that people will now be interested to learn more about this art form”.
Pattnaik has represented India in 50 international sand sculpture championships and festivals around the world and has won 27 championships. He is the first sand artist to be honoured with a Padma award by government of India.