Kaki Dimock: “We are Stuck with Each Other …in a Good Way”

Artist name: Kaki Dimock

Featured Works: Octopus, drawn during world travels


and Owl with Red Flowers


Kaki Dimock is a master of creating and unveiling worlds within worlds.  She ignores the imagined boundaries between animal and plant, human heart and nature, home and sea.  Her works are fantastical and mythical and speak of interconnection, open-mindedness, honesty, and playfulness. They are created with care, specificity, attention to detail, and are also organic and inviting.

Featured Work 3: Untethered


Kaki Dimock also creates public art in the form of murals:


From her site:

“I am so pleased to be working with the Charlottesville Mural Project to create a mural this summer celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and our local river – The Rivanna! Ross McDermott of the Charlottesville Mural Project has already primed the wall, set up pumpjacks and installed our fancy new banner. We hope to get painting in a week or so and finish by early August. Should be great fun!”

5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

“Art is engagement in the world. Art is an act of untangling, unpacking, making clear, revealing, looking under a rock to see who lives there and what they think about. Art is exposure of the artist, of the viewer, of the reader, of the collaborator. Art implicates us all – as exposed and as voyeurs. All our hands are dirty…in a good way. Art is connection, binding, ropes and weights, rings, and branding irons. We are bound to each other, to the grasses and the crickets, to the whole wide world. It holds us down, forces our feet to the earth. We are stuck with each other …in a good way.”

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

“I have made vegetable gardens, berry jam, beaded necklaces for my mom, collaged cards of women in spotted dresses, tiny sculptures of sea creatures, soup, bread, and cookies that look like owls and taste of clove. My hands like to be busy, they like to handle things. I search for a project, yearn for an assignment. Until I was given the pens I like working with, I made stuff in the kitchen and in the garden.”

3. What are you making now, and why?

“Right now, I am working on a series of large drawings/paintings of jellyfish. I am working with larger scale work because it is a challenge for me and forces me to use watercolors, something of which I am a little scared and to which I am a little attracted. And jellyfish are the perfect subject. They are hidden and giant and tiny and bright and translucent and mysterious. And they all look like space crafts. And they are beautiful and treacherous.
I am preparing for a show with Josef Beery at Welcome Gallery in March. These jellyfish seem like they will like working with Josef. I mean, who wouldn’t?!?!?!”

4. What are your hopes for the future?

“I am hopeful that we will figure out a worldwide immigration policy that takes action against leaders that are bad for humans and welcomes those same humans regardless of the arbitrary, tiny little lines other humans have drawn on a map. A friend gave me The Arrival for Christmas, and I think that book is as good a blueprint as any. I am hopeful that my garden will be productive and that I will plant the snap peas early enough and that I will get a second crop of beets and that pumpkins and sweet potatoes will surprise me mid-Fall when I think the whole shebang is over. I am hopeful that we will turn towards each other when it matters.”

5. Do you want to add anything?

“I think tiny Shetland ponies and giant Belgian draft horses are as close to perfection as you can get.”

(Here you go, Kaki:)

Artist Supplied Background:

Artist Kaki Dimock explores how the animal and human world co-exist in other-worldy habitats. She reveals the complexity beneath the surface of an ocean, land, animal, or house by drawing fragile boundaries between evident and obscured spaces and places. Illustrating moments of surprise alongside seemingly compulsive repetition, Dimock’s work exposes the hidden, vast interiors of oceans, elephants, countrysides, and snakes. Animals are often cast in the starring role in Dimock’s plays in order to make up for lost time they’ve been spending hidden in the forest, under water, behind fences, and beneath porches. Her mostly friendly beasts and creatures help investigate struggles like isolation, interdependence, control and conflict through curious scenarios. Her colorful approach to complex human needs examines serious, even sometime dangerous, experiences in startling and deceptive ways.

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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers




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