Karey Kenst

Pronouns: they/them

My artistic practice is an avenue for exploring themes of family, intimacy, homecoming, and the natural world, informed by my experiences as a queer and genderqueer transplant from the mountains of Southern Appalachia to the coast of New England. My work traces back to the East Tennessee landscape, to my mother, a basket weaver, and to the makers in my family lineage who quilted by necessity, as a means of expression, and with great artistry. My creative work is a process-oriented practice that offers a route back "home," a route to mending, transformation, connection, and joy.

My most recent work exists as a dialogue between photography and textile, these media having developed along parallel paths over the years, but recently becoming more integrated. Since 2018 I have been documenting the changing landscape of the Atlantic coast on photographic walks. From these images, I am creating an ever-expanding textile, which will ultimately be cut and pieced into a quilt. This work explores the fluid co-existence between human and oceanic bodies, as well as possibilities for transformation over time.

 

I also create smaller textile works in playful contrast to the dominant culture of fear-based mass consumerism that obscures our collective humanity and interdependence.

Statement on social location

I am a white, queer, non-binary survivor raised in the southeastern United States, now living in an urban center in the northeast. I have a degree in public health and employment that grants me socioeconomic privilege. I navigate the world with a service dog to help mitigate the effects of a chronic health condition. I have lived on and benefitted from the stolen lands of the Cherokee, Osage, Miami, Shawnee, Peoria, Ho-Chunk, Sauk and Meskwaki, Sioux, Wampanoag, Massachusett, Narragansett, and Agawam. I support government and other institution-based reparations for Black and Indigenous communities, as well as redistribution of personal resources toward being in right relationship with others.