Eric Standley


Written by James Read
28 Monday 28th January 2013

How's it going in Virginia?

Pretty good. Great oxygen and fantastic people.

Either Or Arch 3.3 (detail)

How long do each of your Either/Or pieces take?

Anywhere from two weeks to four months. So far. I'm like a monk with a laser these days...


What's the process of creating the pieces? It must be hugely frustrating if there are any flaws!

There are certainly more failures than successes. Technically there are four parts to my process: realising a composition, vector drawing each layer (the most time consuming), laser cutting each layer individually, and assembling.  Conceptually my process is really a reflection of how I think - compartmentalising holistic concerns and detailed decisions. I seem to be able to isolate the two and focus.

The hardest part of this work was learning how to draw on a matrix - to be aware of a composition across a page as well as what happens above and below it - like a cell animator. I have worked up to an awareness of seven layers at one time.


And what tools do you use?

A tablet, vector draw in CorelDraw, cut with a Universal Laser System PLS6 outfitted with high power density optics.

Poseidon (detail)

Your work reminds me of Islamic calligraphy - is this an intentional reference?

No. Early on when I was learning how to draw this way I was copying Gothic and Islamic architectural ornamentation. Once I realised my conceptual concerns I started elaborating on the geometry borrowed from similar 14th century adornments. The structures and artwork of this time captures a reverence for the infinite. I thought I might try to migrate that reverence from stone to paper, permanence to fragility, massiveness to minuteness.

Poseidon 2

What've you got on your desk?

Computer, Wacom tablet, sketchbook, pencil. Clean really. But sometimes I wear Batman underwear - gives me +3 to dexterity.

What are you working on at the moment?  

I'm working on three compositions that push the complexity of the work. Each piece has to go further for me - get closer to the edge of the infinite. If I can't push a body of work any further, then I know I'm done and need to move on. Plenty of challenges to go on this particular body of work.

Either/Or Arch for Ipswich (detail)

See more of Eric's work at his website

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