About the work
Piercy uses the materials and practices of book binding to create sculptural objects of delicate balance. In so doing, she plays with all that books mean for us and deconstructs them as signifiers for our endeavours of self-interpretation: as sites where ink marks on paper embody our efforts to construct meaning. She sees the book as a system of physical and psychological tensions that operate across the boundaries of materiality and mentality to create architectures of self-identity-
'At various times, and occasionally simultaneously, an object can be a commodity, a utensil, a fetish, a prop, a relic, an art object. What changes is not the thing itself but how we configure ourselves around it: our relationship to it. We name objects not so much to define them but to define where we are with them. We use them as orientation points to plot a map of explanations and interpretations. However, the essential nature of matter is elementally unknowable and deeply mysterious. It eludes our determining minds no matter how many names we give it. Objects, it might be argued, are tools for making meaning or as Bill Brown puts it ‘we use things to mark and manage uncertainty’.
The book is a particular kind of entity. It is a physical thing made of paper, card, cloth but it is also a site for objects of the mind. It can hold all kinds of marks and modes of signification from texts to diagrams, photographs, and other forms of representation. These trigger constructions of the imagination from language to landscapes. The book conjures objects of intention, objects of feeling or insight. They are charts of self-location and identity; narratives that attempt to tell ourselves about ourselves.
In my artwork, I use the full gamut of pictorial conventions and technical processes that are available to us in the twenty first century from diagrammatical drawing to tonal depiction, photography to computer-generated imagery. Oscillating between representation and abstraction, images allude to items within our everyday experience while often remaining on the cusp of identification. I also use words, phrases, and tropes of speech. All are produced on paper which I then fold, cut, and glue to form structures which hold themselves in a tentative balance. I use the convention of the ‘book’ with its attendant connotations as a context to bring together the diversity and inherent tensions of the contemporary visual experience as well as to use it as a means to probe our own acts of self construction.'