First Look: Gabriel Dawe's Stunning New Thread Art in Italy
Artist Gabriel Dawe is giving us the exclusive, first look at his incredible new installation that will open to the public starting October 6 in Como, Italy. As part of Miniartextil, an annual exhibition of contemporary art, Dawe created Plexus no. 19, a stunning thread installation that's beautifully spread across two balconies in the atrium of a historic villa. The early 19th century neoclassic house, called Villa Olmo, was acquired in 1924 by the municipality of Como and is now open to the public only during cultural events and art exhibitions like this.
This year's Miniartextil exhibition is called Agora, taking from the Greek word that describes an important public place where people come to share ideas. The visitor is invited to not just look at the artwork but to be actively involved in it. Plexus no. 19 consists of two thread structures streamed across an upper and lower balcony that is meant to be experienced from different angles or at different times of the day. As Dawe tells us, "When the sun comes in in the morning, it is fantastic. Having those window-shaped light beams add a dimension to the installation. I always like when I get direct sunshine on them because it emphasizes the layering of the thread in very interesting ways."
With two assistants, Dawe constructed this installation in about a week. His greatest challenge was working to the confines of the space. "Because of the historic nature of the building, I wasn't able to touch ceiling, walls or floors to screw in my structures," he says. "So I resorted to fixing them to the railings, which in great measure restricted what I was able to do. In the end, it worked out pretty well; it really exceeded my expectations how well the installation inhabits the space."