Windows on Nature and Knowledge

June 16, 2009 - September 11, 2009
Central Library, 2nd floor Balcony Cases
Windows on Nature and Knowledge

by Holly A. Senn

Using discarded library books as my primary material, I create sculptures and installations that explore the life cycle of ideas-the organic, non-linear process in which thoughts originate and are then adopted or refuted, forgotten or referenced. My art investigations are inextricably intertwined with my work as a virtual reference librarian at an academic library where, while surrounded by books, I interact with patrons who prefer digital resources. As I cut, rip, realign and glue my work, I reflect on each new generation's collective erasure of some element of the past, and its casting of new ideas into the future. My work is as ephemeral and fleeting as ideas committed to paper.

In this installation, sculptures made from discarded library book pages are combined with scenes from Brooklyn Botanic Garden, evoking life cycles and blurring the line between the intellectual and natural world. Brooklyn Botanic Garden provided photographs from which I created the diorama backgrounds and found inspiration for the sculptures.

BPL Exhibition, Holly A. SennHolly A. Senn is a visiting assistant professor and virtual reference services librarian at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. The locations of some of her more recent solo exhibitions include Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle, Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. In 2008, she was awarded a Grant for Artist Projects (GAP) from Artist Trust, and in 2007, she received a Tacoma Artists Initiative Program grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission. She earned a Master of Library and Information Studies from University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from Mills College.

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Video of Holly A. Senn's Windows on Nature and Knowledge - Art Installation at Brooklyn Public Library:


Special thanks to Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Pictures by Duncan Price