Karen E. Cleveland

Region: South

My work is inspired by personal and communal experiences of nature. These works are based on the feeling of being, sleeping, and dreaming outside; of moving like the wind through the grass; of dreaming like an elk; of flying like a bear. The beings mimic cycles in nature, and they move seamlessly between self and environment to create an open-ended narrative. The figures/creatures are upswept on invisible currents; they listen and move with the natural world. Here, the organic is allowed to reveal itself as a magical space. The figures occupy ambiguous spaces, both inside and out, closing and opening, inhaling and exhaling. They stem from body knowledge but are rooted in various mythological and oral traditions which locate humans as a part of a broader interconnected living world, not solely based on consumption and possession. These works are a retelling of old stories, weaving them into the now, creating new narratives.