How do you create a beam of light? Turn on a light. Gabriel Dawe found a more work-intensive way creating light, but with a very convincing effect. His installations radiate light, and gives the visitor the impression of there actually being a ray of light not coming for a clear source. Gabriel Dawe plays with light really, creating light where it actually isn’t you could almost say. He spans miles and miles of thread in an intricate 3D geometric shape to create his pieces (see the video at the bottom of the page). It’s supposed to look like a ray of light, especially from a distance. Light is ‘one of those things that can be very magical in a way’, Gabriel explains. Like a rainbow, it shows order in a seemingly chaotic natural organization. You can see his latest installation at the Rijswijk Textile Biennale, The Netherlands, from June 14th on. The image above is a sneak preview of Gabriel’s installation made especially for the Rijswijk Museum.
The prep work is about making a design that suits the space it will be in. Funny enough, his sketches are black and white, focussing solely on the shape to be created. Then Gabriel translates that shape into a graph where he determines how exactly he should put the threads in the grid he made. These graphs are a few pages filled with numbers that tell Gabriel which thread he needs to span to each hook that holds the threads in place. Once he get’s started actually making the installation, it can easily take up to a full week’s work to finish it. Just winging it isn’t an option really. He needs floor plans of the space for the installation to make the sketches and detailed plan.
Colors aren’t added to the plan until the sketch for the shape is ready. He used to always use the full spectrum of colors, but is now using less colors, but always analogous colors according to the proper sequence in the light spectrum. He may sometimes light up the installation, but often it doesn’t add much. Proper thought is needed when adding light for it to have a positive effect on the installation. He’ll generally use no light at all, or flood lights. Just focussing a spot on one area of the installation doesn’t do much, as this web of threads already radiates light itself.