[Has a rather crop circle look to it, eh? Tony]
Etched by trucks in the desert sand: At 9 miles around, gargantuan circle is the world’s largest artwork
By Daily Mail Reporter
16th December 2009
Etched onto the desert sands of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, this unique sand drawing is the world’s largest single artwork with a total circumference of over nine miles.
Big enough to contain over 176 Wembley Stadiums, the giant drawing is visible from 40,000 feet up in the sky, and has even been wowing airline passengers flying across the desert into San Francisco.
Even Virgin supremo Richard Branson has phoned to congratulate artist Jim Denevan on his ambitious desert vision.
Desert colossus: this sand drawing is the world’s largest single artwork with a total circumference of over nine miles
Taking 15 days to complete, Jim and a team of three colleagues worked day and night on the stunning piece in May of this year, which has a diameter of just over three miles.
Containing more than 1000 individual circles, Jim, 48, painstakingly built up the giant circle using a roll of chain fencing six feet across pulled by a truck round repeatedly to dig into the desert sand.
Based on a mathematical theorem called an Apollonian Gasket, the design is set around triples of circles at tangents to others.
‘I set out to build the largest artwork in the world and I am extremely proud that I have managed to do this,’ said Jim from his Santa Cruz home.
‘This individual piece is larger than the famous lines of Nazca in Peru and that is something that excites me.
‘Me and my long time collaborator Caleb Cole have been planning this for over two years and it was a pleasure to complete it.’
Perfect circles: The team of artists used GPS technology to organise their coordinates to get the angles right
The largest lines etched into the sand of Jim’s drawing are 28 feet wide and almost three feet deep in places.
Using GPS technology to organise their co-ordinates to create a perfect circle, the team braved the intense desert heat and night-time cold to construct their masterpiece.
‘We began at what we termed our centre point and worked out diametrically from there,’ said Jim.
‘We had to dig out each line four or five times to mould it into the sand. It was tough, tiring, but of course it was ultimately fun.’ Artist Jim has been creating sand art for the past 17 years and sees this piece as the next step in his ultimate plan to work with NASA to draw on the plains of Mars.
Denevan discovered his talent for sand art when he idly picked up a stick and drew a 12ft long fish.
‘In the future I would love to see if NASA would let me use their Mars rovers, so that I could attempt the first interplanetary artwork,’ explained Jim.
‘That would be fun.’ Having worked with Land Rover on a series of commercials, Jim is an independently wealthy man.
Jim admits the sheer scope of this project was financially expensive.
‘But that is not the point, I just wanted to do it,’ said Jim.
‘Caleb, Nick and Zach, who devoted most of their time to this project are extremely proud too.’
The winter rains have left the mammoth sand drawing in bad condition, but it is still visible.
‘The next project is Antarctic,’ said Jim.
‘There is an extremely exciting trip being lined up and I can not wait to push the boundaries.’
The size of the artwork in comparison to Manhattan. The lines are visible from 40,000 feet up in the sky
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