Friday, February 22, 2013

Experiencing the Spectrum


I love my part-time job at SCAD in the Exhibitions Department. I spent an entire week helping Dallas-based Mexican-born Gabriel Dawe create Plexus 21, his site-specific fiber installation for SCAD's Gutstein Gallery. The exhibition titled Light Paradox opens February 18 and runs through April 11, 2013. 

Cones of color waiting to be wrapped from hook to hook...

 Warm colored reflection on the wall...

Plexus 21 is created using cones of rainbow hues of G├╝termann polyester thread which is fed through a safety pin attached to the end of an expandable painting rod. Each strand of colored thread is attached to the wall around a hook and wound back to another hook on a column across the room.   It's like catching beams of light as we build the piece thread by thread.  
Plexus (warm) at the end of Day 3
It felt in so many ways like my early pre warping board days of winding a warp around chair legs. But this was so much more rhythmic and mesmerizing... and there is a lovely zipping sound the thread made as it raced through the magic wand to the next hook! It felt like action painting in thread! SCAD fibers students did most of the high ladder hooking while I hooked atbthe lower levels and counted out the numbers of the pattern Dawe meticulously created for his piece.  
Light WARM side... Yellow to Violet Palette... 

Dark WARM side... Violet to Yellow Pallette...

Light COOL side - Yellow Green to Marine Blue Palette...

Dark COOL side - Marine Blue to Yellow Green Palette...


The artist checking the hooks and threads the end of Day 4.
The mixture of colors when the Warm is seen through the Cool...
The artist and SCAD preparator Chris Hayes walked back and forth about 14 miles a day guiding the thread to the hooks each of the five days spent creating the 2 interacting constructions - one in warm colored hues and one in cool colors. 

We finished the installation in the gallery Friday evening Feb. 15 at 6;15pm after 5 days (40+ hours) of winding 80.77 MILES of thread! It was exhilarating! 

The spectrum of colors dance and change as you walk through the gallery.
At the end of each Plexus installation... and this is the 21st... Dawe has careful instructions to remove the thread carefully from the hooks.  The tension in the threads is released. The loose threads are gathered up and returned to the artist who encases them in a clear Plexiglass 12 inch cube which he displays at the next show.. He calls them Relics. The Relic from Plexus 3 is displayed on the pedestal. This piece is magical... it makes color come alive and you can interact with it. An excellent article describing the piece... http://hyperallergic.com/65579/a-dazzling-architectural-rainbow-with-political-and-social-history

Cones of thread after completion of the installation.

Artist Gabriel Dawe with wand and Chris Hayes from of our SCAD Exhibition Department in the midst of the installation of Dawes piece in Gutstein Gallery.

Gabriel's "score" to follow on the left for both pieces of Plexus 21 and my handwritten notes to call out numbers to hook to the students...

What an honor it was to work on this magical piece! The artist was calm and patient throughout the installation and a joy to work for.  Now I will have fun sharing what I know with visitors to the gallery!  I am blessed... aren't I?

Watch this excellent video I found where the artist clearly explains his intent.  It is extremely comprehensive including examples of his early work, his Relics, and time lapse videos of his installation and take-down.  Well worth the 12 minutes to watch it!
http://vimeo.com/31383293

Videos of our process from my iPhone... 
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