Fleming Jeffries is a visual artist, printmaker, and educator who explores the intertidal zone between human experience and the natural world. Her work relies on slow processes, such as printmaking, papermaking, and hand-dyeing, to slow the mind’s eye and distill metaphor. Fleming has shown in the US and internationally with work in private and public collections, including “Imagine Climate” at Anderson Ranch Art Gallery and the Belt & Road Printmaking Exchange hosted by Guanlan Original Printmaking Base in Shenzhen, China in 2018. She currently teached printmaking at American University in Washington DC and has a studio at Pyramid Atlantic in Hyattsville, Maryland.


My interest in making is rooted in the practice of printmaking and the study of metaphorical place. I often favor hand-drawn or slow process as a means to reinforce the connection to protected sanctuaries of the mind as well as to slow down the reading of the images. Venturing beyond the restrictions of the wakeful mind and physical presence, my works investigate the tangled relationship between people and the natural world. In one etching, Cavalanche, a subterranean dream-scape distorts its own space. The print uses a 1-page zine format, so that it can be viewed flat as a print or as a folded as a booklet. The cave concept began as an internal diagram of the human mouth and evolved into an echo-chamber of lost, mistranslated and forgotten words. The loneliness, distortion and claustrophobia of pandemic life is distilled into this imaged cavern, and I see the print as the beginning of a new series on voice, language and translation.
My studio practice also leans heavily on place + material culture, both of which inevitably lead back to cultural, economic and political histories, realities and futures.  The past, present and future of the tangible exist on a spectrum of seen/unseen labor and artificial/natural sourcing. Since 2016, while living in Doha, Qatar, I began working with Silk Road natural dyes and paper pulps. The natural dyes used (indigo, alkanet, madder, henna, and more) each carry their own stories and significance in the history of human interaction with the natural world. Open Air: Mobile Lab for Dye and Paper-making Plants and its companion dye kitchen, both projects supported by a VCUarts Qatar faculty exploratory grant, directly focus on cycles of sourcing, producing, consuming, and repurposing, cycles full of surprises, failures, and the relentlessness of tending and labor. The slowness of growing one’s own supplies, of limiting one’s sources and color palettes creates long spaces in between results, periods that resemble meditative hikes and deep listening for avalanches.
A recent project, Night Visions: Oceanic Portraits Seen / Unseen, is a deconstructed artist book, a fragmentation of contemporary oceanic upheaval. From afar, the project appears as tranquil as water’s surface; up close, weathered satellite imagery, diagrams, and illustrations reveal grim evidence of climate change. Each oceanic portrait reveals a major player in the opera of the downward spiral, a chaotic collection of past, present and future mapped in cold hues. This project picks up themes from the earlier series, such as Mechanical Ocean Drawings from early 2000’s and Hydrofantasies and Mechano-morphisms from 2006-2010, which attempt to contextualize and visualize geo-scale, natural phenomenon in human-scale terms. The content on each component of Night Visions represents data on oceanic climate change, translated into etchings on hand-dyed silk. This climate notebook is modular and grows with time, compounding, obscuring, collecting, demonstrating in a piece-meal fashion the complete unknowability of the ocean’s full nature.