Library Card Project: Annie Duffy

Library Card Project: Annie Duffy

Annie Duffy February Raven

February Raven, 2013; cast paper, acrylic, ink, graphite, and cotton thread; 11 x 13 x 10 in.

Our final work in the Library Card Project series is by mixed media artist Annie Duffy. She is a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Fellow, who creates work that spans a variety of themes including identity, memory, sense of place, and culture. Duffy says her work "specifically references the bright, long evenings under the post summer solstice midnight sun or the long, deep blue aurora filled nights that are unique to Alaska." Here's what she shared about her project:

What do you make?
I made a cast-paper sculpture using the ink from the cards as part of the imagery on the surface. Actually, my intention was to make just one, but it has grown into a whole series – a wonderful side effect of leafing through all of the cards that were sent to me.

Why did you want to participate in the Library Card Project?
When I heard about the project it was great timing – I had also just then begun to incorporate imagery and text and the surfaces of the cast paper forms I had been making for the past few years. As a member of the American Craft Council and a fan of American Craft magazine, it seemed like a great opportunity to bring the two together. Plus, it was a project with an element of randomness to it. That aspect of happenstance experimentation was very appealing to me.

How did you use your library cards?
My initial intention was to use the entire set of cards to make one or two new cast paper forms. However, when I got into the studio and started to break the card catalog paper down I realized that I was far more interested in the random, yet somehow perfectly meaningful text on each card. I shifted my focus to just using the outer layer of paper of each card to make the foundation of the imagery on a new series of pieces. That way the paper skin could be thin and flexible to incorporate on large volumes while still retaining the text I found so compelling and inspiring.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I like to combine aspects of industry and man-made material culture with natural forms, such as those found in biology, botany, and chemistry. I find the contrast between the things we “make” and things that “occur” – that are outside of our making system or not concerned at all with that system – very compelling.

What is your favorite/most read art, craft, or design book?
500 Tables: Inspiring Interpretations of Function and Style (2009), edited by Ray Hemachandra. I’ve looked through this book hundreds of times and always find something new in its pages. It’s also a great resource to flip through on days where I might be a little stuck or need some new inspiration.

View all of the Library Card Project entries.