Wednesday, December 15, 2010

50 Miles of Thread Puts Double Rainbows to Shame


The Texas-based artist Gabriel Dawe creates dazzling, Op-Artish sculptures out of thread, making sewing seem somehow painterly. Take that, seamstresses.

His latest installation, Plexus No. 4, consists of more than 50 miles of thread strung up on wooden planks to form floating, rainbow-colored veils. The veils are static, but in the photos, they appear to flutter and blur and sway -- sorta’ like the last hour of the Gay Pride parade.

Dawe is trained in graphic design, and he debuted the sculpture at Dallas Contemporary this fall. On view 'til January, it's part of the Plexus series, which got underway when he started experimenting with thread sculptures by climbing up and down a ladder in his studio about 300 times a day, for five backbreaking weeks. He has since refined the construction process (understandably so). As he tells us:

For the second [sculpture] I only had one week to install, so I developed this tool with safety pins, wood and an extension pole, which works like a giant needle. That reduced my time considerably. Plexus No. 4 took me about 105 hours just to put up the thread, working about three days a week for a period of one month... It is definitely a process about endurance and concentration. I have a system of numbering, so I can keep count while I make them, one thread at a time.

We’ve got a slide show of his latest work here, with images by Dallas artist and photographer Kevin Todora.  To view, visit

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