Gabriel Dawe

Gabriel Dawe


b. 1973       STUDIO IN DALLAS, TX

Southern Region of USA
Gabriel Dawe’s installations of multicolored thread engage the eye and challenge our perception of space. At first, you may think you see a full spectrum of projected light: a rainbow of saturated hues shimmering on the walls and the floor. But as you approach, you begin to perceive that the color comes not from a projection, but from thousands of individual threads strung throughout the space. In an astounding, painstaking process, the artist uses miles of thread mounted between hooks in the walls and floor to create experiences of eye-popping color and form.
Dawe’s work in thread stems in part from his cultural background. The artist grew up watching his grandmother create hand embroidery, a traditionally feminine skill she passed on to her granddaughters but not her grandson. Feeling stymied, Dawe sought to explode the gender-bound tradition. He sees the structure of his installations as a metaphor for the social structures—and strictures—that often rule our everyday lives.

I grew up in Mexico City, and my mom’s family is fairly traditional. I wouldn’t even dare ask my grandmother to teach me [embroidery], because she was not supposed to. That became the start of a more serious exploration of this material. In a sense, all this work stems from working with textiles because of that trying to go against social constructs and gender identity.

— Gabriel Dawe