Every artist has an overarching style and methodology they are known for, and for Tamara Barrage, that is the sculptural approach she brings to her designs and the design approach she brings to her sculptures. The Lebanese artist and designer, who is currently based in Beirut, creates works that center on hybridity, exploring material and shape.
He unique approach and techniques has been years in the making, starting with her choice of university degrees. In 2011, she graduated from ALBA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts) with a master’s in Product Design. She then headed to the Netherlands, where she graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven, this time with a master’s degree in Contextual Design.
In 2014, Barrage came back to Lebanon and began putting her theoretical knowledge into practical applications, exploring various materials, particularly the tactile and sensorial aspects of them. As explained on her official website, she uses an array of experimental techniques in her work “to better articulate how forms and textures provoke senses, manipulate emotions and articulate memories.”
Over the years, she has taken her interest in material towards exploring “shapes that become materials or materials that turn into shapes.” One of her most prominent projects, Disembodied, was birthed in 2018, in response to the garbage crisis that Lebanon has been having for many years. According to the website of Beirut Art Residency, Disembodied comprises casted and stuffed silicone bodies, coming “together to create a whimsical scene in the center of a city where the body’s condition within the crisis is constantly in question. The human yet non-human display results in interconnected mutated forms originating from the body.”
To date, Barrage has had her works shown in many exhibitions inside and outside her home country, such as in Sharjah Biennale, Maison et Objet (Paris), House of Today (Beirut), Athr gallery (Jeddah), Design Days Dubai (Dubai), and Salone el Mobile (Milan).