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Leigh, Ellen
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Enmeshed is a sculptural installation of a poiesis between two systems entangled. One is an adapted system represented by wild grapevine, that depletes vitality through constriction, while the other is a human designed system, represented by fabric wrapped coils made up from industrially manufactured items. (A coil is defined in basketry terms as “one continuous element around and on top of itself to form a structure.”1) Mimicking the grapevine, the industrially made materials drain resources over time in the process of their making. They then suffocate their surroundings through an overwhelming, accumulating in the landscape as they get hastily discarded and become the detritus of lost time Neither the grapevine nor the industrially made items are destructive in and of themselves, but they become so through a culmination, growing into something increasingly unruly and burdensome. It is under that weight that they lay waste to the very resources that provide for their being. Sections of intertwining coils and grapevine are suspended from the gallery ceiling woven into an arc that surrounds the column within the space mimicking the way wild grapevine hangs itself from the branches of a treetop to take in the sunlight. The arc creates a partition 1 Sherry De Leon, The Basketry Book (New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1978), 17. within the gallery to become a space within a space creating a feeling of being enclosed. As the audience moves through the installation, they become encircled within the space created by the intertwining mass of coils and grapevine. Silhouettes from the installation reach out into the gallery space with their shadowy boundaries correlating to the idea of the repercussions of a system, the effects that it has beyond itself becoming bigger and farther reaching than its physical presence. Encompassed within this psychological landscape allows for a quiet moment, a pause to contemplate the existential threat in the ever-busy age of the Anthropocene.