Karen Miranda Augustine is an artist, writer and experimental videomaker whose works have exhibited in Canada, the USA, the UK and the Caribbean.
She has been published and cited in a wide range of books and publications, including The Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts (Cleis Press), The Art of Reflection: Women Artists’ Self-Portraiture in the Twentieth Century (Columbia University Press) and InTransit Caribbean Arts Journal.
Formerly, she was the founding editor of At the Crossroads: A Journal for Women Artists of African Descent, editor of MIX: independent art & culture magazine, beloved CKLN 88.1 FM radio host of BASS: Black Afrikan Sistuhs of Soul, and a poet who had opened for Philadephia recording artist Ursula Rucker, award-winning author Dionne Brand, and dub poet Lillian Allen.
In 2004, she recorded "Sapphire" for the jazz/poetry compilation The New World Reveal-a-Solution (Urbanicity Recordings), produced by Chicago DJ Shannon Harris. Three years later, her piece Miranda and Child (RaRa Rah) was awarded third place at the CRUX juried exhibition in Norfolk, Virginia. Since 2008, she has been publishing POSSESSION: All that is sacred in contemporary art — an artist-driven e-zine where pop culture, spirituality and social issues intermingle.
Born in Toronto, Karen Miranda's creative projects interconnect spirituality, class, sexual and countercultural issues. She holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University.
Karen Miranda is of Dominican and Kalinago Indian descent.
2nd Ghetto Biennale 2011
The Three Erzulies / Ezilis yo Twa
EXHIBITION: December 16–18th, 2011
The Three Erzulies / Ezilis yo Twa was a collaboration, between drapo artist Marie Ketty Paul (Bel Air) and mixed-media artist Karen Miranda Augustine (Toronto), to honour three female community ancestors.
Taking the form of three Pacquets Kongo, the works were done to memorialize two Vodouisants and Kay Famn co-founder / battered women's advocate Magalie Marcelin.
My work is a mashup of indigenous spiritualism, popular culture, the metaphysical and outsider Zen.
I create two-dimensional, mixed-media art out of found materials, textiles, photography and paint in a way that could be loosely described as low-relief assemblage. Primarily, these works are centred around a degraded photograph — whether it be through photocopy, image transfer or découpage — as the raw, primitive imprint of my subject is what I find to be of most interest.
My inspiration emerges from our very base, dark and heightened experiences: trauma, personal crisis, sex, loss, social stigma and transcendence — those life-changing events that strip bare the ego, leaving one vulnerable, ungrounded and often in disbelief.
Whether filtered through media news stories, my personal life, mythology, or casual observation, I like to dig into the intimate details and psychology of my subjects to get a sense of their true heart (or the heart of the matter) and connect that to the mystical or Spirit realm — to that in between place where our earthly conditions converge with the unseen. As our physical existence forms just one part of our lives, my art practice, quite literally, is concerned with projecting what may be seen and understood about us through ancestral eyes.
For these very reasons, I classify my work as ritualistic pop art.
My underlying themes dwell on how one passes through affliction to a place of self-possession.