Chasing Beauty

Submitted by Ebon Heath

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Client: D3 Design District

Location: Dubai, UAE, United Arab Emirates

Completion date: 2015

Project Team

Client

Saadia Zahid

Done Events

Overview

“Chasing Beauty” is a suspended sculpture commissioned to celebrate the launch of Dubai’s D3 Design District. The text is inspired by Kahlil Gibran’s poem “Beauty” (from the book “The Prophet”) in its original English and translated into Arabic. The double spiral/ helix form is made of laser-cut stainless steel and suspended by multiple steel cables connected to a sphere (that acts as a counter weight). The structure hangs from a single swivel shackle connection point that allows it to spin as the wind blows. It measures approximately 6.5m (21.3 feet) in height by 3m (9.8 feet) in width.

Goals

The poem, language, materials and shapes chosen for this piece all have a site specific relationship to the space and culture of its location. Kahlil Gibran is from Lebanon but wrote this piece while living in New York in the 1920’s. Ebon Heath is from New York but is sharing this work in the mideast as a continuation of cultural exchange between global artists. The structure is made of Dubai’s two official languages of English and Arabic that reflects the countries local and international/ western perspectives. In the sculpture these two languages chase each other in endless spirals expressing the beauty described in Gibran’s poem. The D3 Design District is a centralized space for the business of art, fashion, and design which also shares this same pursuit of chasing beauty.

Process

The process to create this sculpture required collaboration from a team of translators, engineers, and fabricators to actualize this concept. Multiple small scale models were produced in wood and paper to finalize design and kinetic balance. Production and an initial build were completed in Berlin before structure was packed flat and shipped to Dubai for final installation.

Additional Information

This sculpture was built for a launch event introducing D3 to the local community in March of 2015 and will be installed at its permanent location in Spring 2016.