Vibrant Rainbow Installation Made with 60 Miles of Thread Weaves through the Smithsonian
This mesmerizing rainbow of colour appears to be some sort of architectural sculpture, but in reality it’s created from vibrant strands of thread. Artist Gabriel Dawe has done it again, this time with a dazzling piece entitled Plexus A1. As part of his ongoing Plexus series, this multicolored optical illusion—composed of over 15 different hues—stretches to the space’s 19-feet-high ceilings and features nearly 60 miles of thread. To create this larger-than-life visual and spatial art piece, the artist used a self-made giant needle formed from an extension rod.
Dawe, who is no stranger to large-scale sewing projects, has completed dozens of similarly stunning installations around the world. His pieces are incredibly intricate, with one thread stretched at a time, forming thousands of connections between hooks placed in the floor and ceiling of the interior space. When asked about the inspiration for his work, Dawe traces it back to a childhood of being told that embroidery was strictly an activity for girls. “Eventually, I grew out of that frustration, but the memory of it led me to explore this technique as an adult, and in doing so, to question the many social constructs that we sometimes presume to be permanent, rigid and inflexible,” he told Smithsonian Magazine. Today his artwork centres around an exploration of textiles, in an attempt to “subvert the notions of masculinity and machismo prevalent in the present day.”
The installation was created for the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery’s “Wonder” Exhibit, and is currently on display in Washington, D.C.