Beth Cavener (previously here and here) creates large animals that each appear to wrestle against their implied captivity. The works can be viewed as animals in the throes of domestication, however beneath the surface lies a peek into our own human psychology. Cavener projects these emotions onto her sculpted clay figures, showcasing the primitive animal instincts that lie beneath our own exteriors.
“Both human and animal interactions show patterns of intricate, subliminal gestures that betray intent and motivation,” said Cavener in an artist statement. “The things we leave unsaid are far more important than the words spoken out-loud to one another. I have learned to read meaning in the subtler signs; a look, the way one holds one’s hands, the incline of the head, and the slightest unconscious gesture. I rely on animal body language in my work as a metaphor for these underlying patterns, transforming the animal subjects into human psychological portraits.