Solo Show at Hume Gallery: Ground

Ground: New Work by Eleanor Ray

Hume Gallery Chicago

March 2015

I am interested in infrastructure and the way that it regulates landscape; the uniformity of electrical pylons striding across American territory breaks vast irregular spaces into dominable units. Electrification was closely associated with the mythology of western expansion and Manifest Destiny, and provided a framework for the benevolent control of lawless and “primitive” areas. Pylons exist in ubiquitous and invisible profusion all over the country; I am attempting to extract and reintroduce the shape of the pylon to the expanse of the landscape and the scale of the human body, and project it into a future wherein our relationship to energy and distance will change again. The endless print horizon creates space through flatness and repetition, as though seen through the window of a car or train on a long voyage, modified by the inherent variation and complexity of the ground. The leopards are a refutation of the anthropomorphism of the pylons, proposing a readily-replicable “paper tiger” pylon that can convey the energy of beasts.


The central piece was a 7′ by 13′ tapestry made of 2 sheets of synthetic craft felt fused with a sautering iron to depict electrical pylons, built into a panorama and lit from behind by LEDs. It was accompanied by a phalanx of 3′ tall brightly-colored paper-mache leopards hung upside-down from the ceiling, also lit up from within. 


Road trip! Show opening Saturday March 14th at @humechicago #Chicagoart #pylons #blockprinting

A video posted by @eleanorhray on



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