Walk-Through Drawing

Prospect Fields at Platform Gallery.

This story has been changed to correct the spelling of Mr. Eley's name. Eric Eley is said to read higher-math and physics books for fun, and after visiting his installation at Platform Gallery, Prospect Fields, I believe it. Parabolas of white twine are knotted to hooks screwed into the walls and floor, creating what may be a complex mathematical formula made solid. (Or an outline of one anyway.) Ely's work traces a geometric landscape in wooden dowels, string, and hooks, connecting to (or providing a ground for) what appear to be abstracted, angular, treelike, wooden structures. His three-part installation takes over the gallery from end to end, meaning you've got to be careful not to run into it, both at foot- and eye-level. The sculptural elements possess a sort of color code: Strings closest to the floor are primary red, while those in proximity to the walls are white and then gray as they move toward the gallery's central air space. The web of string is supported by wooden dowels tipped in lime green, and each dowel has an upright portion and a slightly bent segment, painted metallic gray. Gallerist Blake Haygood describes the piece as "a drawing that can expand ad infinitum." A site-specific work, this piece articulates the long, tall, bread box of the gallery space, but one can imagine the trajectory of the diagonals continuing through the walls. Ely planned the work to fit the gallery, but the installation process—which took 10 days, involved the construction of a complete false floor, and was undertaken behind paper-covered windows—allowed for a degree of spontaneity in construction. Perhaps the formulas needed recalibration to fit the work around an electrical outlet or the cement pilasters on the west wall. Just like a sketch being erased and redrawn. As Haygood said, "It's a drawing you can actually walk into." 

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