About this piece:
The inspiration for Drift came from the ebb and flow of ocean tides, and the myriad miniscule organisms that float in the water column, whose movements are largely dictated by currents. The larvae, protists, and other life forms depicted on the pages form the base of the food chain that sustains all life in this ecosystem. Illustrations from an 1896 invertebrate morphology text book served as my reference material for most of the drawings, and I reproduced notes taken by the previous owner of the book as well. I chose a structure that could expand and contract, Hedi Kyle’s fishbone fold, in order to evoke the movement of shifting currents. The pages extend from a three inch width to roughly twenty inches, paralleling the idea that seemingly empty water can contain unseen multitudes. The paper was made by hand from overbeaten abaca in a gradient of color to create the translucent effect of water. The cover and binding are minimal, allowing the paper itself to take center stage.
paper, thread, ink, acrylic
About the artist:
Karen Hardy is a visual artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Her practice is centered on an experimental approach to materials, and is influenced by her background in the natural sciences. She uses innovative hand papermaking techniques and a variety of non-traditional materials in her artist books, sculpture, and installation. Her artist books are widely exhibited and held in collections across the country and abroad. Karen received an MFA in book arts & printmaking from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and currently teaches book arts at Western Carolina University.