My name is Ragheb Barake. I was born on January 6, 1996 in Tripoli, Lebanon. I have one sister and one brother; my dad is a cardiologist; my mother is a university teacher. Since my childhood I was very interested in art and inspired by the ancient civilization of the Egyptians. I started drawing since I was 6 years old and few years later, my interests were more focused on architecture, cities and urban spaces. I live by the sea in the summer, where I get to play in the sand and try to create my artworks. My art progressively evolved, to the point that I mastered different techniques on my own, and even invented new ones. I love traveling and exploring new cultures. I travelled to many places with my dad when he had conferences in other countries. Traveling opened my eyes to the world and let me further explore different lifestyles.
I studied architecture at the Beirut Arab University in Tripoli, were I learned how to put ideas into technical drawings and the combination between art and engineering. I have travelled as well with the university for summer school, were I get to experience new skills and visit new places. I have learned a lot of things along the years like clay modeling, detail drawing, model making, painting and handcrafts. I have interests in astrology and spirituality.
I am currently working on enhancing my sand sculpture’s art to make it even better and creating new ideas that make this kind of art more special and appreciated by the public. In the nearby future, I would like to study the preservation of historical buildings as it combines skills that I love, which are history, geography, civilizations, cultures, art and materials’ properties.
Sand is a material that can be used for different usages, not the easiest for making sculptures, which makes it challenging and harder for the artist to work with. The properties of sand are hard to work with, which make it more interesting for people as they can’t easily create something with it.
Nearby the sea, people gather to relax and enjoy nature. Making art from a natural element in the site makes it unique and inspiring for watchers as they see how we can create anything from simple available resources – the case is similar with ice sculptures The idea of making something from the available adds a sense of quality to the art as it is in harmony and connection with nature. Sand sculptures make a scenery in its place as a landmark or a visual element characterizing the space.
Sand is considered as one of the four elements of life which are fire, air, soil and water. When people connect to these elements, they are tapping into their purest essence which is coming from nature. The energy of the materials can be felt as it holds the vibration of non-resistance, which explains why people escape to nature as it offers peace of mind.
In my work, I use water with sand as a mixture to be able to create the bigger sizes of sand models. Since I started working with sand in my childhood, I have learned the properties of sand mixture with water for adequate form properties. My work evolved in the last two years as I started creating more valuable models that hold a specific topic or event. Lately, I started integrating lighting and fire to the sculptures to create a better scenery and better ambiance, as well as colors by using fabrics that enrich the model and make it more realistic.
The work that I do consists of collecting and arranging sand and putting water to finish the sand block to start the sculpture with the use of clay modeling tools. Currently, I am still enhancing my work to make it more realistic when it comes to the techniques used to hold sand and the effects that I create at night using candles and lights to get a night view from the work which is different than in daylight. I am always seeking better results and more creative ideas to create the best I can in my art.
The latest focus of my sculptures was on public and current events such as the local and global situations, as well as landmarks.
The mission of my art is to embody architectural monuments into a smaller physical form with effects on it, and to create an image of life events to give a sense of the situation and let people get in touch with their perceptions of these events. People are inspired when they see different small scale physical models of monuments.
The message that I want to convey through my artworks is that anything we think of can be translated into physical form, and we can travel the world by manifesting our ideas to create forms that hold the same sceneries of the ideas we have.
Contact Ragheb Barake for further information about his sand sculpture art.