"First There is a Mountain" is a touring participatory artwork by Katie Paterson over British Summer Time 2019. It invites the public to sculpt beaches into mountains of sand to form micro-geologies, using specially created 'buckets and spades' sets which are scale models of world famous mountains: Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Shasta (USA), Mount Fuji (Asia), Stromboli (Europe) and Uluru (Oceania). The sets are made from fully compostable bio- plastic. At the end of the tour the sand pails will be composted, and in this process disappear completely.
The artwork will tour to 25 high-profile venues and their local sandy beaches for a series of one-off events, creating a time-based topographical map orchestrated against a backdrop of tidal times.