Driftless closely examines three rivers that flow through northeast Iowa’s Driftless Area: the Wapsipinicon, the Volga, and the Upper Iowa. Bypassed by the last ice age, receding glaciers skirted around the northeast corner of Iowa, leaving its land untouched by glacial drift. Sediment and rock that have sat in the area for thousands of millennia have had the chance to slowly erode into hills, bluffs, and stretching vistas, a geological image that is not typically associated with the Midwest. Past journalists have even gone so far to describe the area as “Iowa’s Switzerland.”
Boyne's installation comprises three 4x8 foot sheets of illuminated, handmade Japanese kozo paper. Each sheet is treated with konn’yaku paste, a medium traditionally used to strengthen and waterproof Japanese paper. The paper is then painted with pigmented konn’yaku paste. These applications of paste buckle and shrink the paper, causing it to transform its shape, wrinkle, and form its own topography.
The paper is painted with cropped details of photographs of the above-mentioned rivers. This close-up look at the rivers’ shapes and patterns becomes a microcosmic snapshot of the larger bluffs and hills that form their surrounding landscape.