If she is a naturalist, then it’s the embracing of an otherworldly environment. Working with photography or collage, Ana Kamiar creates images born from the Witness; a passerby pausing in time only to briefly process these moments. “It’s a sort of visual poem to highlight the ephemeral,” says Kamiar in describing her work.
Prior to focusing on visual arts, Kamiar initially studied the art of mental health. She earned a B.S. degree in psychology from UF, followed by a M.F.A. from University of Miami with a concentration in photography arts. “When I started college, I didn’t think about what I wanted to do—as a future person—so much as what I wanted to research and learn, at that moment,” Kamiar says, currently an adjunct arts instructor at FSCJ. “But when I switched over to the visual arts, I didn’t so much shift my focus as much as I shifted my medium for research. I was, and still am, interested in how we see or perceive color, the structure, function and sound of language, our dreams, how it happens, and how we might analyze them and time.”
Dreams seem key to her representational work, with universal signifiers inhabiting wholly original compositional approaches floating in trance. Branches and power lines are visual equals. The sky, clouds, and sea merge in an enhanced negative space. Kamiar seems as interested in the surrounding, framed field as she is the object set within it.
“I suppose not all the time, but a lot of the time, negative space is where I aim to be. Certainly, I love being called to go into it. So usually, I create frames to pull attention to its existence. I play with composing objects in ways that feel balanced or harmonious to me. This [is] just so I am engaged enough for the frames true purpose, as a porthole into space, to pull me through.”
In her series Drops in the Negative and Cellular, Kamiar displays equal strengths as a savvy collagist. In these pieces, animals, spiritual iconography, and flowers are adorned with gold.
“I learned a lot about myself through this type of arts-making. I didn’t realize how much art baggage I was carrying,” she says, acknowledging that collage fulfills a big part of her poetic-art needs. “For me, the hand-cut collage process serves as this terrific metaphorical mirror for what, how, and why I choose to keep —and how, why, and what — I allow to fall away.”
Whether conveying the certain ephemerality of the real world through her camera, or the cerebral realm of her staged collage realities, there is a kind of muted, even somber, energy to Kamiar’s art. Yet there is also the presence of a calming visual grace.
“I find that feeling incredibly beautiful and inspirational,” she says of the aura of stillness in her work. “Because it is honest to the transience of life.”
This feature originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Void Magazine under the headline “Portfolio: The imagery of Ana Kamiar illuminates the universal prism of being and becoming.”