Artist Creates Awe-Inspiring 11-Acre Aerial Portrait Using Wood, Soil, Sand and Stones

Art and photography often intersect in interesting and, at times, confusing ways. For instance: if you create a beautiful 11-acre portrait out of wood stakes, soil, sand, grass and stones that is only truly visible from the air, are you an artist, portraitist or just a landscaper with an artistic eye? What’s the percentage breakdown?

Obviously there’s no right answer here, but Jorge Rodrigeuz-Gerada — a man who recently did just this — calls himself an artist and so we’ll go with that.

The project is called WISH, and Rodriguez-Gerada put it together for the 2013 Ulster Bank Belfast International Festival at Queen’s. Basically, he photographed a local Belfast girl in the process of making a simple wish for the future, and then instead of “printing” the portrait on any sort of paper, he partnered with the city to re-create it on an 11-acre spot in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.


In all, it took GPS technology, 30,000 wooden stakes, 2,000 tons of soil, 2,000 tons of sand and about four weeks of back-breaking work by Rodriguez-Gerada and some gracious volunteers and community groups to complete what is one of the largest realistic portraits the world has ever seen, and the largest land art portrait in all of the UK and Ireland.

“Working at very large scales becomes a personal challenge but it also allows me to bring attention to important social issues, the size of the piece is intrinsic to the value of its message,” explains Rodriguez-Gerada. “Creativity is always applied in order to define an intervention made only with local materials, with no environmental impact, that work in harmony with the location.”

To see the portrait in all its glory (without flying to Belfast, that is) check out the video at the top. And if you’d like to learn more about the project head over to the Festival’s website by clicking here.

(via SLR Lounge)