Plane/Light/Rain

Ed Andrews
Plane / Light / Rain
12’ x 20’ x 24’
wood, steel, light, water
Locus Gallery, St. Louis, MO

Plane/Light/Rain was a site specific installation built in 1989 for Locus gallery in St. Louis. The gallery site was dominated by three different architectural elements that I incorporated into the installation design.

The dominate element was a central wall that divided the gallery from the office area. The wall was constructed to represent the silhouette of a house and was designed in 1985 by architect Harry Goldstein. I translated the house idea into actual shelter by creating a roof with the same slope and proportions as the wall.

Secondly, the entire building was supported by a grid of massive mushroom columns, engineered 1905 by C.A.P. Turner. Four of the columns visually defined the gallery volume. I positioned the corners of the roof structure between the four columns and then, using four hoists, suspended the roof from the columns.

In creating “rain,” that would allow the roof to actually function as shelter, I transferred a simple grid design, cast in the ceiling, into a suspended PVC grid into which water was pumped. Small holes drilled into the grid allowed the water to drip down onto the metal roof. The grid detail was designed in 1930 by the original building’s architect, William Crowell.

A square black pool collected the water falling from the roof and a bridge spanning the water allowed the viewer to experience the installation from the center. Three spotlights focused on the pool and covered the walls with reflected patterns of water. Water sounds filled the space and completed the experience.

Plane/Light/Rain’s form was derived from the site’s existing architectural elements. My intention was for the viewer to become more aware of this specific context through experiencing the installation. These elements were combined to create a stage for the falling water. Water, light, and sound are combined to give the space life, to introduce the element of time, and to stir personal associations that deal with such binaries as man/nature, shelter/elements, security/danger, and artificial/natural.