If you have ever been to Puri in coastal Odisha, you would have come across curious bystanders milling around massive sculptures built right on the shore, exposed to the whims of the sea and the weather. You may have noticed a man pottering about the sculpture, providing finishing touches and instructing a group of students keen to enter the unique world of sand sculpting. That's internationally renowned sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik at work. Patnaik packs loose sand into fluid sculptures that stand tall against the backdrop of the ocean.His art transcends religion and class to create harmony and the messages he conveys through his work are special. Patnaik's work reflects any topical subjects that he thinks need to be covered through his work. Female infanticide, religious tolerance, national pride, cricket, music, the death of eminent personalities or major news events - he's built around each of these themes. Patnaik, who has been recognised globally for his skills, says he has been ignored in his own state Odisha. The state government, despite many pleas, has ignored Sudarshan's request for building a sand art museum in Puri, according to a CNN-IBN news report.Sudarshan, who was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2014, has has been shunted from one ill-suited corporate job to another by the Odisha government instead of getting a sponsorship. He dreams of building a sand art museum in his hometown but the land alloted to him by the Odisha government was located 2 km from the beach and the lease stated nothing could be constructed on it.In the past, Sudarshan has got several invitations from developed countries to settle there and promote sand art, but Sudarshan has always politely refused those temptations as he wanted to promote sand art in his own country and more particularly in his home town. Take a look at some of his best work.
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