Donna Ruff

Region: South


City / State: Miami, FL

What captures my attention as an artist are ordinary things, artifacts of lives lived and time passing: a folded newspaper, a mosaic tile, a frayed textile. I find visual patterns in these artifacts and re-create and expand on them in a slow, deliberate process that replicates aging and imperfection through cutting, burning, and layering. The paper I choose is essential to the result. I often work on preexisting media such as newspaper and books, cutting away some of the content, but I also use handmade paper to contrast my drawing with pure, white grounds. The intricate visual patterns invite close inspection and create a secondary pattern of negative space.

My grandparents owned a scrap paper company. I learned as a child that paper has weight and heft, and that there is beauty and meaning in the old and discarded. Bringing that sensibility to my art practice allows me to feel that I can capture the past in an enduring present.