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Sandra Eula Lee’s The Walking Mountain: new exhibit on display in Pearlstein Gallery | The Triangle
Arts & Entertainment

Sandra Eula Lee’s The Walking Mountain: new exhibit on display in Pearlstein Gallery

Photo by Carter Blake | The Triangle

New to Drexel’s Pearlstein gallery, located within the URBN Annex, is an exhibition by artist Sandra Eula Lee titled The Walking Mountain. The first and most noticeable aspect of the exhibit is an approximately 30-square-foot pond located right by the entrance. Actually, the first thing any visitor would notice is the orange extension cord running from the wall next to the entrance to an illuminated piece behind that pond. However, once one is able to step around that, the pond is what captures nearly every visitor’s attention. Constructed with sheets of blue “machine-cut plastic,” according to Lee, the piece is meant to reflect the “stillness of a pond,” with a slight difference in its material makeup.

The pond is a great example of Lee’s work. Nearly all of her pieces involve a sort of “recreating” of natural, or at least natural-based ideas, as Lee describes, but constructed with “industrial materials.” For example, the next piece Lee displays is yet another pond, this time made of bricks, once again representing the intersection between nature and industry, a major theme of Lee’s work.

This theme shows up in every single one of Lee’s pieces. This includes another piece which is a much more free-form structure, consisting of a combination of “fermented peppers” sealed in glass jars and material resembling scaffolding surrounding the composition. It’s another unusual combination at first glance but begins to make more sense once the themes and ideas are considered. Similarly, in the very center of the gallery is what initially seems to be a pile of dirt and grass. However, a closer look will reveal what is actually a pile of rubble which has then been painted green to replicate a mountain of sorts. In conversation over what inspired the creation, Lee describes seeing “rubble on the ground in different parts of the world” as the cities she visited were rapidly changing and under construction, which she then began to collect and make something out of.

This is similar to another section of the exhibit, which consists of a series of drawings, each one a variation of the same rock structure. When asked why she chose to recreate the same image, Lee recounted seeing a pile of rocks on a mountain while hiking and imagined how it got there. She describes an “orientation” of sorts for the mountain’s visitors, with each new guest adding a new rock to the pile. Lee took this image and ran with it, creating dozens of versions of the design, serving as a beautiful backdrop to the entire exhibit. In regards to the overall layout and placement of all the pieces, Lee says that it is “all intentional, almost like a garden,” with the layout meant to “frame ideas” and tell an overarching story. This includes everything from the grand pond structure to each drawing, all the way down to the electrical wire. The exhibit will be on display until the end of May, so be sure to check it out. Just be careful around that wire.