Photo of Dirk Van der Sman

Dirk Van der Sman

Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Dirk is an outsider land artist. He was born on 7 August 1972 in Tswane, South Africa. He was schooled in Gauteng and obtained a Masters degree in Human Sciences. He lived in Asia for 7 years, then moved to Australia and gained citizenship. Dirk works in Allied Health. Dirk uses a small rake pre-dawn to transform the beach into a visionary environment. The sunrise reveals the artwork and the tide removes it soon after. Edward has no formal training in art, he creates large- scale artwork up to and often exceeding 200m in length. He intends to capture his subjective personal experiences and the content of his dreams. The ephemeral nature of the art, the large-scale on a horizontal plane and the size means the audience cannot view the art without achieving a significant altitude above the artwork. Therefore there exists only a marginal status for his art. In 2017, per chance, an aerial photographer captured the art from an altitude of 80m to 120m. He shared the images on the internet and the artwork became popular. In late 2017, he was approached by a design and marketing company to do an artwork promoting the inaugural 4thnight festival in Torquay with musical artists The Cat Empire and Sarah Blasko. The same aerial photographer entered a photograph of a large-scale artwork in The Geelong Calendar Photograph Competition and won the Month of March. Over 100 000 prints of the calendar were delivered to households across the region. Dirk was encouraged by friends to enter ArtPrize Nine with a small ink and paper artwork and QR code connecting viewers by video to the artwork on Torquay beaches Australia. The artwork was exhibited at the Women’s City Club of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Artprize is one of the world’s most attended art events. In 2017 and using another small artwork of ink on paper he was a finalist at the Brisbane ArtPrize 2017. The Brisbane Artprize Facebook promotion of his large-scale artwork, filmed from altitude, was viewed over 19 000 times by the Brisbane art community. Dirk has been awarded and exhibited on the Light, Space & Time Online Gallery in Florida several times for photography and ephemeral sculpture. He was first runner up in the Transitions the 2018 Trans Medical Research Photography Award. The art has been featured in The Surf Coast Times, The Bellarine Times and the Geelong Advertiser as well shared on several hundred facebook pages, all promoting conservation, war on waste, banning single use plastics. In 2018 he focussed his visions on the effects of plastic in the ocean and micro plastic found in seafood. Dirk added unbleached flour to his land art and chose locations where public would interact with the artwork. He relies on the unexpected, the audience, the amateur photographer, the mobile phone camera - all sharing the discovery on facebook. One drone photographer is often complicit in this process.

Dirk's ArtPrize Entries

These are Dirk's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

Dirk's Past Work

These are images of past work that Dirk has done.

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