London artist Benjamin Shine says he has spent more than a decade exploring the idea of bringing the line to life through “painting with fabric.” His tulle works are created by pleating and manipulating the material into a form, centering on ideas of strength, fragility and the fleeting moment.
His latest tulle exhibition, The Dance, commissioned by Canberra Centre in Australia, explores the idea of creativity as a powerful yet brief force, charged with passion and energy. A white, circular vessel releases a smoke-like puff of tulle into the air, as the colors combine to form two large faces and a series of dancing figures.
Shine used 2,000 meters of tulle to assemble the exhibit. Each face and figure, the details of which are revealed through back-lighting, is created through a process of pleating, layering, compacting and hand-sewing the material into shape. Relying on the fabric’s structural properties, the installation is made only of tulle and thread.
The gallery space was specially constructed to house the concealed wall-washer lights, and special rigs were embedded into the ceiling to suspend the artworks. The three-dimensional figures were created separately in the studio, suspended from their own ceiling panels, which became the lids of the crates. They were then transported to the venue, and the ceiling panels were lifted into an 11-meter straight channel and slid into position. The exhibition has been extended to January 2016.