Skip to main content




The Delaware Contemporary

Add to MyWilmington
This is a past event, which occurred on September 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Set a Reminder Add to Calendar
This is a past event, which occurred on September 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM
This is a past event, which occurred on September 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM

A Draper Experiment by Clay Dunklin

August 2 - September 29, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, August 2
5 - 9 PM during Art Loop

Our fourth Draper Experiment installment features Spider Mother, a series of white microcrystalline wax vessels by Clay Dunklin. In this site-specific installation, Dunklin arranges a web of 30 shallow, bowl-like forms that are inverted skullcaps cast from the artist's own head. Through the use of projection mapping software, Dunklin's vessels appear to glow and emanate their own pulsating light, forming an alien terrain of seemingly living, breathing "beings." 

Dunklin describes the title Spider Mother as a "loose interpretation of arachnoid mater, the Latin name of one of three protective layers surrounding the brain. The arachnoid mater is a relatively open space with the exception of a web-like meshing that fills with cerebrospinal fluid to cushion the brain. In 2017, I underwent medical testing and hospitalization for a rare, debilitating neurological disease called HaNDL that causes a buildup of fluid around the brain, resulting in intense pressure." As a result of his medical experience, and after experimenting with the materials, Dunklin began production of the vessel series. He designed the exhibition for an enhanced, multi-sensory experience using light from projectors and speakers placed discreetly in the corners of the gallery space. Placing them low enough to the floor, the speakers enable sound from the audio track of original recordings to emanate from the objects themselves. Further, the audio track personifies the spider mother herself by echoing distantly, as if singing a lullaby nearby. By placing the installation vessels on the floor of the gallery, the artist intercepts familiar navigation by creating an unfamiliar environment. These vessels retain the eerie essence of a skull cap, or spider abdomen. In this context, the skull cap castings appear as hatchlings from which the mother spider's babies have emerged to be nurtured in an imagined adjacent nursery. Thus, instead of being designed to catch prey, Dunklin invites the viewer to an immersive and visually nurturing experience in the tangled web of waxed vessels.

Clay Dunklin is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in the Baltimore/D.C. area whose experimental practice includes performative, video, and installation works. Dunklin has exhibited his work nationally, including shows at the Orlando Science Center and the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Dunklin is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park, and received his BFA in drawing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

E. Avery Draper Gallery

200 S. Madison Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

Other Events You Might Like

Market Street Holiday Light Display

Willingtown Square

February 28, 2020 12:00 AM
Occurs 2 more time through Feb 29

Tropical Odyssey

Delaware Museum of Natural History

February 28, 2020 12:00 AM
Occurs 88 more times through May 25

Winter Group Show

The Station Gallery

February 28, 2020 12:00 AM
Occurs 2 more time through Feb 29
Main event image

Adventures in Nature Art: Winter

Center for the Creative Arts

February 28, 2020 9:00 AM
Occurs 11 more times through Mar 9

Inside Look

Delaware Art Museum

February 28, 2020 12:00 PM

Almost June

Harry's Savoy Grill

February 28, 2020 5:00 PM

Public Skate Sessions

The Skating Club of Wilmington

February 28, 2020 7:30 PM
Occurs 14 more times through May 29

Lyrics and Libations

The Academy

February 28, 2020 8:00 PM

Sam Seider

Kid Shelleen's

February 28, 2020 9:30 PM