About this piece:
Old True is inspired by my fascination with the storytelling culture and traditional music of western North Carolina. I studied the lyrics and imagery of old Appalachian ballads, drawing from many different songs to create a general impression of the tone and subject matter they typically contain. There is love, misfortune, betrayal, and violence aplenty in these stories, usually recounted in a hauntingly matter-of-fact way. I focused on certain motifs that enchant me – lily-white hands, fair maidens courted or done wrong, the oft-repeated request to “make up my bed” in preparation to die of grief – and explored them by layering gouache, ink, and pochoir on translucent handmade paper. The paper was made in the Blue Ridge mountains at Penland School of Crafts, where I sought to capture the colors and forms of the mountains and skies that surrounded me in the pulp itself.
paper, ink, gouache, thread, 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.