[d]rift

A handmade paper installation created in collaboration with Kimberly Maher, Karen Carcia, and Elizabeth Munger.
Morrissey Gallery at St. Ambrose University (Davenport, IA)
October 2016

Created with the support of the University of Iowa Center for the Book Alumni Residency.

Inspired by the natural topography of the Drift Plain Region of Eastern Iowa, this work explores glacial erosion and deposition. Our main material, 3’ x 7’ sheets of handmade paper, provides a backdrop for our investigation—both literal and metaphorical—of the relative nature of movement, matter and time. At nearly every step our process was experimental in its approach, and we let nature have a hand in our work. We began by working to ‘shift’ the pulp in the sheets we created by shaking our moulds near the end of the sheet formation process. Then we employed ice dying and sun-bleaching to create patterns and change colors of the paper. Next the sheets were cut, abraded, dip- and brush-dyed, and reformed to create new shapes.

Always aware of the tension between our present moment in relation to geologic time, this installation aims to contemplate differences in physical and temporal scale and engages with images from micro and macro aspects of ice and landscape. Some of the images we chose to echo are sourced from photographs of glacial ice under a microscope, aerial photographs of the Drift Plain Region, and re-photography of glacial retreat.

Rather than treating the installation as a singular piece or a collection of pieces, we conceptualize it as the pages of a book–containing discrete yet interrelated units that can be read both individually and through physical movement along the length of the gallery.