1. Companion – cast paper, cotton thread, and acrylic; 11 x 11 x 13 in.
2. Pull – cast paper, cotton thread, wood, hemp twine, and acrylic; 8 x 10 x 8 in.
3. Pull – cast paper, cotton thread, wood, hemp twine, and acrylic; 8 x 10 x 8 in.
As I make my artwork, it seems that I am often operating as a kind of intuitive, aesthetic scientist. This is because the process of how I make my pieces and what they mean to me are as important as the objects themselves. How I go about creating them is probably closer to what many people consider “Science” than “Art”; I do a great deal of research, observation, examination, and experimentation, even though the subject is often my own memories, feelings, or experiences, rather than a microscopic organism or other specimen.
However, beyond these behaviors, I also incorporate or reference scientific principles in my artwork in metaphoric ways. The push and pull of opposing magnetic forces, or the precise, fundamental, linear beauty of a carefully formed crystal pattern, can be internalized and reinterpreted within a piece. I may pair this specific information with my thoughts about an event, experience or memory in my life. These two ways of understanding, external and internal, are combined to visually convey the particular idea I am trying to communicate, the particular feeling or impression I am trying to evoke or invoke.
This duality can create a delicate, occasionally tenuous or fragile, balance. Sometimes a weighted pairing will evolve and an asymmetrical or slightly awkward transition will emerge, which I find to be quite interesting and compelling. The duality and contrasts are important on a formal level, and on a human narrative level they speak of dilemmas, compromises, and best of all: choices.
© Annie Duffy