The Dream of the Cucumber Tree

Basma Kavanagh is a Nova Scotia visual artist and poet.  She has lived and worked in Cape Breton, on Vancouver Island, in the Arabian Gulf, Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley,  and Brandon, Manitoba, in each place creating work determined by her surroundings. Basma now lives in Carbonear, Newfoundland.

Basma’s work has been exhibited across Nova Scotia, in British Columbia, Manitoba, Qatar, and the US, and included in books and magazines in Canada, the US and the UK.

“My artistic practice includes direct interaction with plants and animals, a close observation of living things, combining empathy for ‘the animate’ and an attention to biological detail (the influence of many years employed as a scientific illustrator) to produce artworks that celebrate the intimate connections between living things. Lichens, pebbles, cracked earth, fiddleheads, fungi – these are some of the organisms and animate textures (earth-in-flux) that hold my attention, that unfurl in unnatural fractal forms of themselves when I dream at night. Embossed, sewn, and painted works celebrate these wishing-well forms: we stare into them, and see cells, growth, decay, a rude anatomy. We see ourselves reflected there, find an answer (or maybe the question) to the “world riddle”: a kind of poetry – elegant configurations of body against body, stanzas of stone against stone, delicately punctuated by the spaces between, an understated music of silences and shadows.”

© 2019 Basma Kavanagh.