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We’ve long been fans of the installation work of Mexican artist Gabriel Dawe, who is known for his site-specific installations that explore the connection between fashion and architecture. This year he’s collaborated with leading commercial flooring surfaces manufacturer Mannington Commercial to release a collection that we think is a match made in heaven. Sought out for his innovative installation work, Dawe brings a fresh energy and perspective to Mannington’s products that are designed to inspire creativity and deliver advanced performance in all types of commercial spaces.
“When people encounter my installations something happens that instead of thinking of what they’re doing, they go to that place almost like going back to being a child and seeing something for the first time,” said Dawe. “It was really important to have something that was a statement in terms of color.”
With artistic inspiration from artists ranging from Frida Kahlo to James Turrell, Dawe went on to study graphic design at the Universidad de las Américas, in Puebla, Mexico, because he liked the idea of applying creativity to things that had a pragmatic function. “Because any design project has to perform within certain parameters and it has to achieve specific goals, it offered a way of channeling my creativity.”
Though design gave Dawe a great foundation, it’s restrictions later became cumbersome and left him wanting more creative freedom. “That’s when I decided to quit design and become an artist,” Dawe says. Soon after Dawe was given the opportunity to have a solo show at a yoga studio/gallery titled The Light Within the Shadow, which seems rather prophetic when viewing his current installations.
This collection is the direct result of the collaboration that first began in early 2017, with Dawe sitting high atop Mannington’s dream list of artists they’d love to work with. After being approached by the team to work together, Dawe says he jumped at the opportunity. He and the team met together several times to discuss the design process as well as Dawe’s approach to creating before deciding upon a plan.
The Moiré Collection represents Gabriel Dawe’s first foray into product design, inspired by his work where lengths of colorful thread are configured into forms culminating in planes of depth-filled light. In textile and print design, moiré is defined as a wavy or rippling textural effect where sets of lines or dots are superimposed upon one another, creating sets of patterns differing in size and spacing – and the Moiré Collection is a stunning visual effect of its namesake.
Dawe’s main inspiration came from the way in which the moiré effect plays with your depth perception, an aspect that’s present in his installations and oftentimes difficult to capture on camera. His installations are made of a succession of criss-crossing lines that shift in space, creating an immersive experience as you walk around them. Dawe took this idea and translated it into a 2D image using a combination of layers of lines and his signature spectrum colors.
To me, color equals joy.
“When you look at his work and his pieces, there’s almost this childlike wonder. His work is beautiful and his artwork has inspired us to kind of think beyond what we do on our normal scope. The first time we met Gabriel we talked about how light is a major influencer in how his artwork is viewed, and so we tried to translate that effect of light through the yarns that we use,” said Roby Isaac, VP of Design for Mannington Commercial. “We’re at a fortunate time when people are really embracing pattern.”
The collection’s designs feature replicated lines and forms that change in gradation and depth when viewed from different perspectives. The colorways are focused on the red-orange, blue-green, and purple-indigo families, as well as a light grey, medium grey, and full-color spectrum which speaks to the unique quality of light in Gabriel Dawe’s work – explore one family’s or create an entire spectrum of color. According to Dawe, “To me, color equals joy. I recently unpacked some old work and it’s interesting seeing after so many years how color has been such an important aspect of my work.”
You can choose from one style of broadloom and three styles of modular carpeting in The Moiré Collection. Pure Wavelength features a large-scale pattern in modular carpeting, resulting in lots of dimension with taut, criss-crossed lines. Visible Light is a smaller-scale design available in both broadloom and modular styles that highlights texture among the color gradient. And Ray Tracing deconstructs a color gradient into bands of striated color to create an open, playful pattern. The level of moiré present in each design varies, while Dawe’s signature light is captured by a special high-luster yarn that brings the colors to life in each one.
Dawe says he envisions the line being used everywhere. “Even though this is a commercial product intended for high traffic environments, I can see it used even at homes. I’m even thinking of getting a broadloom section and make it into a rug for my living room.”
“It’s been a fantastic experience, and I didn’t expect it to be so authentic in a way. It’s like sort of peeking into one of my installations. To see it translated like that into a flooring product, it’s really exciting,” Dawe said. He also had the chance to see the machinery and the industrial process, giving a bit of insight into how the process affects the final product as well as understanding what was achievable and what was not.
Dawe went on to add that, “Working on this project definitely gave me ideas for future artwork and it was curious to see how my input offered a new perspective to Mannington’s team and made them see things in ways that they hadn’t thought of before. I hope that this product offers something that is new and fresh and excites people to integrate it into their spaces. I also hope that it brings joy to people who get to walk on it.”
The Moiré Collection beautifully brings together Mannington’s years of experience in the commercial carpeting world with Gabriel Dawe’s unique form of art. We love the result of this collaborative effort!
Learn more about this collection at manningtoncommercial.com.