Leslie Shirah


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Materials: Cotton cards from the Columbus State Library’s card catalog blended with other plant fibers such abaca and kozo. Pine boards. Acrylic paint. Chicken wire. Staples.

The card catalog for fungi was the starting point in the evolution of the work “Untitled”. Growth and decay involving the break down of matter was the inspiration for my forms. Fungi create spores which generate new colonies of fungus. I thought of the ground floor where these organisms inhabit. The colonies of the fungi form appendages and extensions covering broad surfaces whether it is the ground or the surface of a tree. I thought of my forms covering the surface of the boards spreading themselves across it to form their own colony of growth. I work in repetition and fungi are often seen in nature growing in multiples. The instant appearance of fungi in the early morning during the summer months lends itself to be a key in connections between my ideas of break down. The fungi in some species are only there for a day or even a couple of hours. They wither back into the earth poking their heads out yet again becoming reborn. That cycle of break down and rebirth was important in creating this piece of work. I broke down the cards blending them with other plant fibers and made paper which covered the surface of the forms created using chicken wire. The idea of breaking down the paper to yet another stage of evolution in the materials life-span was important in conveying ideas of growth and decay.


Columbus State University, CSU Libraries, Card Catalog, Art, Sculpture