Meet the artist creating stunning artwork on the North East's beaches

A retired GP has been leaving more than just her footprints in the sand as she creates stunning pieces of art along the North East’s beaches.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 1:42 pm

From a skier racing down a mountain to a lifelike portrait of David Bowie’s alter ego Ziggy Stardust, Claire Eason uses the sand to create stunning and imaginative designs on the North East’s beaches before photographing them from above.

Originally from South Shields, the 56-year-old started her career as a junior doctor before working as a GP in the Midlands 30 years ago.

Having returned to the North East, now living in Sunderland, the mum-of-two first began ‘doodling in the sand’ after she purchased a drone and her temporary designs slowly became more intricate and breathtaking before they are washed away by the high tide.

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Claire Eason, of Cloud Dancer Photography, pictured with some of her artworks
Claire Eason, of Cloud Dancer Photography, pictured with some of her artworks

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Most recently, Claire’s work symbolised the humpback whale which visited Northumberland’s coastline and became a more poignant tribute after reports the same whale had been found floating dead, and entangled in fishing gear, off Dunstanburgh Castle on March 5.

"It was magical to have something so majestic off our shores,” said Claire. “It was a tribute but not quite in the way I had first expected following news that it may have been the same whale found dead."

The stunning projects began after Claire bought a drone two years ago to take pictures of Northumberland and the North East coast.

A surfer

Claire, who is mum to 20-year-old Anne and 23-year-old Andrew, said: “I’d see some people would make drawings in the sand and I thought I’d give it a go.

“From starting off with little doodles I began to just experiment with different designs and fly the drone up to see how they turned out.

"My favourite is probably of the bare feet walking along the shoreline because I think it’s something that resonates with everyone. The very first people on Earth will have walked on the beach. It’s a timeless experience that almost all of us can share.

A baby

"I grew up in South Shields living very close to the beach and the beach was really part of our playground as kids.”

By creating Cloud Dancer Photography, Claire is looking to develop this into individual and group beach experiences and has been overwhelmed by the response and the impact it has on people.

Skiing down the rock edge
Girl on a swing
Mother's Day tribute
A bunch of poppies to mark Armistice Day