DUBAI: We have all – at some point in our lives – used sand to create art, whether it be sand castles or heartwarming messages to our loved ones.
But, drawing a massive monogram in the middle of the desert is definitely a showstopper.
Dubai multidisciplinary artist Nathaniel Alapide has taken the art of sand drawing a step further, wowing us with his talent.
Alapide, who is originally from the Philippines, turned Dubai’s desert into a giant monogram for the British luxury fashion house Burberry.
The clips, shared on the brand’s Instagram page on Wednesday, showed the artist’s velvet-like sand creation of the label’s distinctive TB monogram sandwiched between the city’s dunes.
When speaking to Arab News, Alapide said it took him almost a week to create the massive artwork that is located in Al Faqa desert, a village on the border of Dubai and the eastern region of Abu Dhabi.
To prevent the wind from destroying his work, the artist said he used crushed stones.
“Because we were doing it out in the desert where it is open, we had to use a different material to create the logo,” said Alapide, who has previously worked with Nike and Honda. “So, what I used is the crushed gravel or crushed stone. It is heavier than sand, so even if there is strong wind it won’t be blown away. It stays there.”
To avoid the summer heat and humidity, Alapide, who has been living in the UAE for 17 years, works on his sand creations in the morning.
“If it is summer, I will do the sand art really early in the morning. I will start sometimes at 5 a.m. until 7 or 8 a.m.” he said.
Before pursuing art as a full-time job four years ago, Alapide was an aquarium specialist. “I was working in an aquarium in Atlantis, The Palm. We were feeding sharks,” he said.
He then chose to pursue his art as his career. “It started when I made a tribute for my grandmother. I created a massive drawing of a tree on the beach and that’s how it started. From there I found that the process is very therapeutic,” he said.
You can often find his unique art by the beach at Dubai’s Rixos Premium JBR.
The self-taught artist has previously created huge sand works of Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and of Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, using just his bare hands.
His technique, sand drawing, was first developed as a means of communication that served to connect the central and northern islands of Vanuatu where over 80 different language groups exist.
In addition to Alapide’s UAE desert creation, Burberry has also taken its 2020 summer campaign to China and Inner Mongolia.
The fashion house shared clips of Burberry-branded sailboats and hot air balloons, which were also part of the campaign that highlights the inspiration of the collection of the outdoors.
Italian designer and chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci has managed to revamp the 164-year-old label when he joined the fashion house in 2018. Tisci restyled the Burberry’s typeface, introducing the TB monogram and brought an edginess to its classic British style.