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Cathy Durso ~ Minnesota

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Artist Cathy Durso

About: "Cathy Durso is an artist based in Minneapolis, MN. Cathy grew up in northwestern Connecticut and is a graduate of the Art Institute of Boston. She lived in Boston for several years and moved to Minneapolis in 2015. When she is not making art, she loves to be outside, camping, hiking, or just walking around in nature. She likes to travel and explore. She also loves to watch dogs play.".

   

The Natural History Museum #2
By Cathy Durso
Minneapolis, MN: Cathy Durso, 2019. Edition of 9 + 1 AP.

10.25 x 12.875 x 5" cloth covered box with 8 drawers. Gatefold opening, with bone and loop closure. Materials: book board, aluminum wire, lokta paper, rice paper, cotton embroidery floss, book cloth. Linoleum cuts.

Cathy Durso: "A miniature Hall of Ocean Life, this artist’s book contains eight drawers, which, when pulled out of the box that houses them, reveal dioramas of eight different ocean-faring animals, each with its own booklet describing the animal and its peculiar habits and history.

"As a child, I spent a lot of time with my family at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. I fell in love with that museum, and the sense of awe and wonder the great halls inspired. My love of natural history museums only grew when I lived in Boston during my twenties and spent time in Harvard University’s Museum of Natural History. That museum could not have been more different from New York’s. Instead of the spacious, open halls of the American Museum of Natural History with their grand and beautiful dioramas, this museum was like a cabinet of curiosities – stuffed full of animals, their skins coming apart at the seams, and not much in the way of information about the animals.

"I love both of these museums and they have inspired this miniature museum hall. Other sources of inspiration include the documentaries of Werner Herzog and those narrated by David Attenborough; John Lurie’s TV series 'Fishing with John'; scientific writing about animals from days of yore; wunderkammer of the 17th-18th centuries; and signage seen while traveling through Iceland.

"When opened, the drawers are revealed. The colors correspond to the depths that the animals can be found (i.e. the animals in the lightest blue drawers are found in the shallowest water, and the animals in the black drawers at the bottom are found in the deepest darkest waters) ...

"This artist’s book is meant to be opened and explored. I hope it will put a smile on the viewer’s face, make them curious about the natural world, and perhaps make them reminisce about spending time in natural history museums as a kid, and the sense of wonder and joy those experiences inspired."
$1,200

The Natural History Museum #2 book

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The Natural History Museum #2 book

   
   

Bon Voyage
By Cathy Durso
Minneapolis, MN: Cathy Durso, 2014. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 8 x 7" in lidded custom box. 3 scrolls of various dimensions. 4 double sided miniature accordion books. Signed by the artist.

Cathy Durso: "In 1977 the Voyager program launched two space probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, to study the planetary systems of the outer Solar System. It was perfect timing – the spacecraft were able to take advantage of a rare geometric alignment of the outer planets – one that would only occur every 175 years. This alignment allowed the probes to use a newly developed technique called gravity assist, utilizing the planets’ gravity to slingshot around the planets and propel the probes toward their next destination.

"Voyager 1 passed Saturn and ended its primary mission in 1980, and has been speeding away from the Sun’s pull ever since. In 1990 it turned back around to face us, and snapped the Solar System 'Family Portrait,' the source of the 'Pale Blue Dot' image made famous by astronomer Carl Sagan.

"Voyager 2 completed its 'Grand Tour' of the outer Solar System in 1989 after its visit to Neptune. Like Voyager 1, it continues on its trajectory toward interstellar space.

"The impact of the Voyagers’ discoveries was huge. Moons and planetary rings were discovered. Strange cloud patterns and intense winds were measured. Moons were seen to be active bodies, with volcanism, tectonic processes, and atmospheres reminiscent of Earth’s before life evolved.

"This piece explores the Voyager mission conceptually and literally. On the first two levels inside the box, the spacecraft are represented by scrolls that, once unrolled, reveal the distances they’ve traveled. Each segment in the scrolls represents the distance from one planet to the next, while the final segment represents the distance from the final planet to where the probes are today.

"The third level inside the box allows a peek at something that can’t quite be made out, while the final level reveals it and some of the discoveries the Voyagers made at each planet they visited.

"There is a particular mix of science, philosophy, and heart embedded within the Voyager mission that instills feelings of wonder, awe, and hope – both because of the science that came out of the mission, and the fact that the mission happened at the right place and time to allow the two probes to be so much more than their basic technological components. And, of course, the fact that the spacecraft are still out there, speeding into interstellar space.

"This work is meant to be opened and explored."
$2,400

Bon Voyage book
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Bon Voyage book

   
   

Page last update: 02.03.2020

 

   
                                                         
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