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Ephemeral Memory 2

Susan Reedy

My work investigates themes of language, memory, and preservation of ephemeral materials that are in danger of becoming extinct in our electronic era. The work is created with vintage papers that have been discarded, lost, or destroyed: sheet music, dictionaries, fragments of billboards and prayer books. 

The work is inspired by the inherent beauty of these vintage materials and by the textural qualities sometimes seen on out door surfaces-walls, signs, etc-that are in a state of flux due to the ravages of time, the elements, and neglect. In the work the text and imagery of the source material becomes altered during the creative process so that new and unexpected combinations of form and context emerge. The art work reflects the poetic beauty of the imperfect state of the source material and utilizes its inherent sensuous nature.

The creative process involves alternating layers of paint and paper that are built up, stripped away then partially rebuilt, often in many successive layers. This additive and subtractive process results in an expressive surface that is rich in paint, altered imagery, and text. The technique used to transform the images-the scraping, tearing and painting over-both destroys and preserves these vintage materials using contemporary thinking about surface quality and composition. 


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