The National Centre for Craft & Design presents the UK premiere appearance of artist Gabriel Dawe, Plexus No. 10. Currently working and residing in Dallas and born and raised in Mexico City, Dawe creates fields of chromatic filaments that spatially manifest their ephemerality.
Materialising the Structure of Light centres around a new commission from the artist's awe-inspiring Plexus series. Having just wrapped Plexus No. 9 at PEEL Gallery in Houston, Dawe creates his most ambitious effort yet with Plexus No. 10. Developing out of the artist's practice of embroidering on clothing, and inspired by the traditional richly hued embroidery of his native Mexico, the Plexus installations use colour to dazzling effect. Utilising rainbow hued Gütterman thread to produce a disorientating effect reminiscent of Op Art, the installation will transform the entire Main Gallery. Giant veils of shimmering colour and line, stretching from floor to ceiling, will create an immersive environment which visitors will be invited to walk through, experience, and contemplate.
After an initial career as a graphic designer, Dawe started experimenting and creating artwork which eventually led him to explore textiles and embroidery—activities traditionally associated with women and which were forbidden for a boy growing up in Mexico. Here, the use of embroidery—albeit on a huge scale—renders the work subversive of notions of masculinity and machismo that are so ingrained in his culture. As a male artist working with inherently 'female' materials, Dawe implies that traditional gender roles may be learned rather than natural, and can therefore be rejected. Similarly, installation straddles the boundaries between textiles, architecture and sculpture.
Citing Anish Kapoor as a major influence, Dawe creates complex and often vertigo inducing spatial structures, which direct the viewer through space. Accordingly, they emulate the invisible forces which shape our existence; the social norms, rules and expectations which determine who we are.
This installation makes the intangible visible, giving form to structures which exist at the very edges of our comprehension.