Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B Nguyen's Hubris, Atë, Nemesis

Maine-based designers Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen have created an immersive tidal installation solely out of timber. Situated in the Centre for Maine Contemporary Art, visitors are invited to navigate through ‘Hubris, Atë, Nemesis’ as it flows throughout the gallery’s spacious floor. 

All image credits: Wade Kavanaugh & Stephen B. Nguyen

Kavanaugh and Nyugen are known for creating vast installations out of paper. “Our goal was to find a way to translate the visual language we have developed in paper to a new material, but the impact of incorporating the pathway into the work was a surprise,” say Kavanaugh and Nyugen.

Hubris, Atë, Nemesis is inspired by Maine’s rugged coastal environment, and the piece illustrates how the landscape's wet weather has influenced local artists’ craft.

The installation’s name refers to words found in Ancient Greek tragedies —  Hubris describes excessive confidence; Atë refers to mischief and madness; and Nemesis refers to a force of retribution which resets natural order. “Like many paintings of the Maine coast, we hope this work captures a moment of suspense in a dynamic system a snapshot with an uncertain future — and that it appears to be unwritten what the restored natural order should or might become,” Kavanaugh and Nyugen explain. 

When entering the space, visitors walk through the installation via wooden pathways which intersect in the middle of the piece. As they move over the undulating boardwalk they are made increasingly aware of how their body moves throughout the space which removes the separation between the art and the viewer. 

To view more about the installation, visit the artists’ website.

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