by Whess Harman
The path to Gallery Gatchet is overfamiliar, overextended and pulled apart between seams of pavement; here, loitering is a tiered system. Most of the places to land are decayed concrete flotsam. Filtering through with slow fumes off your back as you lurch forward; the space to breathe condenses around your body as the route itself disintegrates.
A snouted neon dog greets you at the door of Eli Howey’s exhibition Passageways. You arrive, and tonight the walls crawl; delicate mycelium in gouache, sprouting through the surfaces. I know Howey’s work through the zine and self-publishing scene, so I’ve seen some of these paintings before, in reproduction. They are different in person. Denser, and closer to the edge of sinking. There’s a lot of care embedded in the making.
Speaking for myself, living with a cloudy head means the world is always blurring out at the edges. You learn to brace against it as much as you learn to let it pass through you.
[Image Description 1: A watercolour and gouache painting on paper by Eli Howey. The image has a phosphorescent look, with teals, blues, and corals glowing over a black background. A person with short-cropped hair and pink, glowing eyes, stands behind a chain-link fence. They are wearing a dark sweatshirt and pants. A square section of the fence is cut away and floats in front of them. Their hands, palms forward, extend through the hole in the fence.]
Whenever I read Howey’s work, I’m reminded of that overwhelming feeling of being tangential to everything around me; people, places, experiences. As though it’s all happening a little further back in my head. This feeling makes the mundane light up. The details go fluorescent.
Tread carefully, press through the fences for hidden entries and exits. Edge around the spaces of energy stitched over near-familiar skins. Recognize faces and codes from a distance, distorting in ricochets as separation closes.
The work pulls on the threads of city spaces, but not with the intention to unravel them under our feet.
Cities erode; our paths through them stutter and pause. Howey’s work paints the foggy non sequitur between internal and external engagement. Moving through is hard, but we try anyway. I meant to go back and see everything again.
[Image Description 2: A watercolour and gouache painting on paper by Eli Howey. The image has a phosphorescent look, with glowing teals, blues, greens and corals. A person lays on their back on a forested floor, amid leaves, moss and twigs. They’re wearing a sweatshirt, pants, and socks, and are using their bundled jacket as a pillow. They gaze at a small green twig held between thumb and forefinger. Their shoes, and a small pink bunny, rest in the lower right of the image.]
Feb 28–Apr 4, 2020
Images courtesy of
pg. 4-5| Eli Howey,
Move Thru Walls, 2019
pg. 9-10| Eli Howey,
Ethereal is Earthly Knowledge, 2019
This post was made possible through a private donation of $250. The author was paid $225 for their work and $25 was allocated to administrative costs. To support further haunt texts with a donation please direct message @hauntprojects or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org