On September 2nd, roughly 4,200 animals with be deinstalled from Cheekwood’s temporary zoo. The brightly-colored works of art from Cracking Art have brought joy to all visitors and staff this summer. Once the works are packed into shipping containers and shipped across the ocean back to Milan, Italy, the plastic animals will be melted down and regenerated into new pieces for the next installation. For the artists in the Cracking Art collective, the destruction is just as important at the creation. When Kicco, a member of Cracking Art, was onsite for installation, he made a connection between the Cracking Art processes to that of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of sand mandalas. Mandalas are created using colored sand by Tibetan Buddhist monks. The work is ritualistically dismantled upon completion. The tradition symbolizes the transitory nature of life.
Cheekwood’s 2018 Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence is Gabriel Dawe. Dawe creates visible light spectrums using thread. His site-specific installations explore the movement of light and its relationship to architecture. He will transform our Stallworth Gallery into an ethereal landscape. Dawe comes to Cheekwood on August 27th. At that time, he will begin creating an installation that will be revealed at the September 21stmember preview event. The exhibition will be on display until December 30th. Similar to the destruction of the Cracking Art animals, the thread will be detached and the work will be dismantled once the exhibition closes. Ephemerality is an important factor in Dawe’s work. His art is a physical manifestation of the phenomenon of the refraction of sunlight, dispersing colors through Cheekwood’s windows. These moments in nature are fleeting as our planet continues its orbit around the sun. In the same vein, Dawe’s work at Cheekwood will be destroyed and never recreated in the same manner.
The impermanence from these three practices can remind visitors that this process of destruction and creation is an important part of life. The flowers in our gardens must die each season, to give way to the new flowers. Gabriel Dawe and Cracking Art’s works are representations of nature. The fleeting aspect of these exhibitions furthers that representation.
The Cracking Art animals will be in our gardens and in our museum until September 2. Gabriel Dawe’s work will be on display to the public from September 22 through December 30.