Caroline Duffy describes her sculptural pieces as ‘collages’ using found and recycled materials to make abstract artworks. She begins her process by constructing collages she makes from old cardboard. Her philosophy is to try to make something out of the many types of discarded materials that we come across almost every day. Nearly all of her sculptures started life as a utilitarian object which was discarded and now has been made into something else. She even likes to replicate the ‘torn’ edges on the steel that can be seen in the cardboard collages.
Caroline makes sculptures and collages from found timber, steel, paper, packaging and cardboard, often collected on the streets of her neighbourhood in inner Sydney, and salvaged from construction offcuts. This purposeful gathering shows the artist’s environmental responsibility, which makes her work all the more important. Found steel — the rusty, broken, bent pieces — prompts the start of the abstract forms, and each sculpture takes on a life of its own. The heavy and dense nature of the material gives a sense of gravitas and new permanence to the sculptures.
The material alone starts the process and ignites the imagination. The forms are a purely abstract response to the shape, texture and weight of the raw material Caroline has salvaged. “There is no narrative to explain the sculptures,” says Caroline, “Each just grows and turns into something. I never know what that will be until it is finished.”