By Angela Romeo

Opening September 1 at Joshua Tree’s Art Queen East Gallery will be Fever Dream. Running through October 28 the exhibition will feature the work of three avant-garde artists, Christiane Cegavske, Zara Kand and Carol Cameron; three artists who are more than willing to challenge ones’ senses.

Multidiscipline Artist Christiane Cegavske takes one through a journey of the fairy tale from the other side of the looking glass. She describes her work as lying “between fable and fever dream where anthropomorphic creatures follow their own illogically logical pursuits and mysterious actions have dire consequences.” She is at her best when free from constraints.

Fever Dream will present a teaser of her upcoming film Seed in the Sand. It follows in the footsteps of her award-winning Blood Tea and Red String, a film 13 years in the making. That film was described by Dennis Harvey of Variety as “a David Lynchean fever dream on Beatrix Potter terrain…as lovingly crafted as it is unsettlingly sour-sweet.” It is difficult to find a more apt description of her work.

“When I was invited to participate I was in the midst of creating life-sized versions of the rag dolls for the live-action opening sequence. It seemed natural to use them as life models for these paintings,” said Christiane. “Women are often told to smile, no matter what we are really feeling; expected to have our makeup/mask in place, to listen quietly, to accept. Often there is no room in our daily lives to express negative or uncomfortable emotions. We are expected to make those around us comfortable with a friendly smile. Smile like your life depends on it. Maybe it does. It becomes an unconscious reflex. Smile! Here I have taken it further. Not only is there a smile, there is a mask. Not only is there a manufactured smile, there is a manufactured self.”

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How does Christiane see the continuity of Fever Dream? “Our works all draw dreamlike content into the edges of the realm of the real. The inexplicable and unnatural, the familiar and strange, the ethereal and substantial, all blended into a symbolism both illuminating and obscuring personal meanings, leaving the work open to be interpreted by the viewer, yet rich with autobiographical trails.”

High Desert resident Zara Kand is co- owner of the eclectic Space Cowboy Books. An artist in paint, literary works, sculpture, illustrations for various publications and music, Zara’s work is a blend of the Goth femme fatale. Dark, mysterious and seductive the work charms the viewer into a comfortably numb sensation. But comfort is short lived as the work begins to consume the viewer. 

What does Fever Dream mean for Zara? “This new body of work has come sincerely from a place deep inside; subliminal messages distilling over time that finally made it to the surface in the form of symbolic and emotional imagery. I had a long time to let it stew, it’s been about a year since my last cohesive series, and I’m very happy with the results. This series has a theme running through it- water. You see water in various forms in all of the pieces, yet mainly serving as a reflective base from which some interesting revelations are being born.  I hope this work inspires others to ponder the sea of their own emotions.”

“I feel all of the works in this show belong together because it seems they are all coming from a place from within; the female experience of pain and melancholy, as well as hope and beauty.”

Carol Cameron, artist, teacher, healer, brings another dimension to this exhibition. Using found objects, fiber and other material Carol’s work is the bridge between the other artists’ work. “Most of my ideas come from a strong desire for wholeness and an exploration of the relationship between the material and non-physical world,” noted Carol.

Like Zara and Christiane, Carol’s work bridges the area of fuzzy logic. But her work seems to tie the three together. The creatures depicted in her work, especially when swathed in yarns, become the middle ground, the yardstick to gauge the creatures of the other artists’ work.

“I am excited to see all of our work together in the same room. I think one unifying factor is the interest in the unconscious and dream world that all of our work exhibits. There are light and dark elements woven throughout our imagery and a connection to the natural world,” noted Carol.

For more information on Christiane Cegavske visit www.christianecegavske.com; Zara Kand visit http://zarakand.com; and Carol Cameron visit http://woodbison.net

Art Queen (www.sharielf.com) is located at 61855 29 Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree, CA.