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Shezad Dawood: Nets

Shezad Dawood: Nets


5 November 20202 January 2021


Shezad Dawood
Nets comprises eleven works created out of British artist Shezad Dawood’s residency at Fogo Island Arts in 2019. The exhibition sees Dawood continue his exploration of the effects of climate change on ecosystems and communities, fusing intimate oral histories and broader environmental narratives with his own unique and vibrant artistic vision.

Dawood was invited to complete a residency on Fogo Island in Newfoundland, Canada, an island with a rich historical tradition of vernacular craft-making and folk culture. Settled in the seventeenth century by European merchants, Fogo Island developed a thriving economy centred on cod fishing. Advanced fishing techniques eventually hastened the depletion of cod in Newfoundland waters between the late 1960s and 1990s, leading to the island’s economic decline. In recent years the island has benefited from a rising arts and cultural scene, thanks to the work of Fogo Island Arts and its sister organisation The Shorefast Foundation.

Dawood created the series Nets (2019) and The Trouble with Lichen (2019) in response to the forested marine landscape of Fogo Island, using materials and weaving methods specific to the region. He collaborated closely with local artists and craftspeople, who worked with wool, crochet and embroidery to create the segments in Nets and the organic, moss-like texture seen in The Trouble with Lichen.

The sculptures Net (Rorschach) (2019) and Hybrid I (2020) explore the entanglement of human and animal ecologies, and the fatal potential for human technology to provoke the depletion and renewal of species. The former is a section of a Newfoundland cod trap from the 1970s, while the latter is a phosphorescent sculptural copy of a hybridised coral, genetically modified to survive warming and acidifying ocean waters.

Dawood’s short film Fogo (A Process) (2020), shot using a Super8 camera, documents Dawood’s experience of nature and human intervention in the landscape, coasts and waters around Little Fogo Island.

Shezad Dawood: Nets – Timothy Taylor