Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Palimpsest: Artist Amy Rice explores meaning that goes deep

Photo courtesy of Amy Rice

One thing I have always enjoyed about creating objects using salvaged items is the transformation, the before and after, the knowledge that under that gorgeous fabric decoupaged onto a jewelry box is a piece of our past. Most of the time, I specifically search for something that lacks much value as it would be tragic for me to cover some beautiful antique etching or something. In many cases what I'm covering up is... how do I put this?... well, it's downright ugly - all the more reason to cover it, and cover it completely!

Amy Rice takes a different approach, finding opportunity and meaning in the items from the past that she discovers (old maps & letters, discarded pieces of wood, etc.). To these items, she adds new layers of meaning, creating a piece of work that is a combination of yesterday and today, a piece with multiple reads, a piece that is appealing to the eye and the heart.

The fancy word for this quality is palimpsest - which is a word dorky architect-types (such as myself) like to use to sound artsy. Despite this, it has always been one of my favorite dorky, artsy words and is most appropriate to us when you come across work like Amy's. 

Artsy words aside, it is this layering quality that provokes my strong affinity for Amy's work. I love that she uses found objects. I love the people and places she is inspired by. And, I can't wait to finish my living room so I can get some of her beautiful prints up on my wall!

You can read more about Amy and her work at her blog. Also, check out her newly created greeting cards, printed in Minnesota with soy ink and available for purchase on-line!

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