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Kim Dacres: Wisdom Embedded in the Treads

Gavlak Los Angeles

September 12 - October 24, 2020

Kim Dacres: Wisdom Embedded in the Treads
Kim Dacres: Wisdom Embedded in the Treads
Kim Dacres: Wisdom Embedded in the Treads
Kim Dacres Peaceful Perch

Press Release

Kim Dacres: Wisdom Embedded in the Treads

September 12 - October 24, 2020


GAVLAK Los Angeles is pleased to present: Wisdom Embedded in the Treads, a solo exhibition of recent work by Jamaican American artist Kim Dacres. This is Dacres’ first exhibition with the gallery.

Kim Dacres honors her rich cultural heritage by creating sculptures that speak to the presence of black bodies and cultural identifiers in relation to social environments and the underlying knowledge gained from these experiences. She converts the rawness of rubber tires and tubes into expressive portraits of black and brown people. Her practice also showcases a sustainable way of producing  and consuming art by “reusing, rebuilding or utilizing the resources we have around us.” Wisdom Embedded in the Treads is an ode to black identities, bodies, beauty, resilience, femininity and pride. 

Dacres finds the inspiration for her work in her everyday life as an educator, community activist and family member, in the human qualities and stories of those around her. Seven figurative busts made from rubber tires are directly inspired by real people, her family and friends. One sculpture, Spoil Your Nose, Spite Your Face (Cutty), is inspired specifically by language and cultural idioms while Whitney, Untitled (Rude One), and Peaceful Perch focus on the intersection of race and gender in public space. “My message in the show title, Wisdom Embedded in the Treads, indicates that skin color and hairstyles alone do not singularly tell the story of an individual. I call attention to the material as a value-add beyond race that extends to implicit knowledge. The sculptures come from the range of my relationships, sizes and perceived gender expressions,” says Dacres.

The installation comprises eleven sculptures made primarily of recycled rubber tires and tubes sourced by the artist in bicycle shops, mechanic garages, construction sites throughout the Bronx and Manhattan and sometimes directly off the street. Dacres first started experimenting with rubber in 2008 while attending Williams College, Massachusetts. Driving on a deserted highway, she would pull over to pick discarded rubber up. The material held many qualities that would prove to be valuable in Dacres’ practice. It was heavy, durable and once unraveled from the rim, could be utilized as a line or in layers and it was also a lot more cost effective than working with wood, metal, or casting materials. “After that moment, I realized I would never run out of materials and that the material itself represented a universal sense of mobility and freedom that I wanted to feel.” 

Kim Dacres (b.1986, Bronx, New York) is a Jamaican American artist and teacher. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Williams College as a dual major in Art Studio and Political Science, and minored in Africana Studies. She has her Master’s degree in Education focusing on Teaching English as Second Language K-12 from Lehman College at the City University of New York. Dacres approaches her work as an educator with enthusiasm for life and accountability for the stories of everyday people of color. She formally began her full time art practice in 2017. In 2018 Kim had her first yearlong public art installation, Peaceful Perch, in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. In 2019 she completed her first solo exhibition, Swerve Team Meeting, as an emerging artist fellow at the A.I.R. gallery in New York City. This coming fall, she will participate in a group show at Galleria Anna Marra in Rome and in Spring 2021 she will be a fellow of the 40th cohort of the Bronx Museum’s AIM program. Kim lives and works in Harlem.


For more information or for press inquiries, please contact Sarah Lewiecki at 323-467-5700 or slewiecki@gavlak.com.

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