Rachel Rushing

After graduating back in May I had a bit of ‘artist’s block’ through the summer. First I couldn’t think of anything to make, then I had ideas, but none of them were any good. Eventually I just decided it was time to shut up and start getting to work. Books were my go-to craft because I could busy my hands and be productive.

Then we moved to Dallas and the whole cycle has started again. In my small college town, I could at least feel ok about being unproductive because I didn’t see lots of other people making art either. I could wallow in my self-pity while my friends tried to be encouraging, but being an artist without someone telling me what to do- that is something I have to spur myself on to.

Now that I’m in Dallas, in the presence of a rather large art community, I know play time is over and it’s time to get to business. With that in mind I went to my first art opening that didn’t have someone I knew in it.  My first big-kid opening with just me and my hubs going in like Russian spies. It was at Guerilla Arts and Gabriel Dawe was the artist.  I saw Dallas Contemporary tweet about the opening and searched Dawe’s site for more information on who he is and what his work is about.

The first thing I see on his site (aside from the brightly colored thread work) is the term ‘installation’ and my insides got all warm and fuzzy (I have a special place in my heart for installation work). His installation, fiber art, and object work all have some kind of tension.  At the opening for Plexus No. 3 his piece was no different. I walked into the main gallery space to a giant, floor-to-ceiling sculpture of thread. Dawe took 5x1x1″ strips of wood and attached them parallell to each other on the floor and the ceiling. Along the wood, at about 1″ increments he placed nails.  Thread was then woven along each nail from each floor-to-ceiling set, with about 10 separate sets and each one a different color.  The entire sculpture gradated from deep indigo through the color spectrum. The precision of his weaving created beautiful moiré effects along each set.

The entire piece was an impressive scale and an impressive amount of work put in.  With such a simple structure the back end/ prep work added just the right amount of complexity to keep viewers engaged/ in awe.

My only disappointment with the show was the lack of an artist statment.  No where in the gallery or on Dawe’s website could I find a statement with any sort of explanation of why he made this work, why it was interesting to him, if he had a point to any of it. Personally, it’s always the statement that takes an abstract piece from being decorative to conceptual artwork.

Overall, it was a beautiful piece of work and I hope there is more meat to it than I was able to find. After seeing Dawe’s work I am definitely ready to get a move on in my own endeavors!


Here you can see the actual installation on Glasstire.