My work explores human connection and identity through a relationship with the natural environment. I primarily work with paper, natural dyes, botanicals, paint, and other mixed media. I’m inspired by rural landforms that form simple shapes of soil lines in a large field, water currents, and how mountain ranges fade into the distance. The views are ongoing and continuous like the natural cycles of time.
I make abstract landscapes that investigate ideas behind technology advancing and transitioning from paper to digital devices. By using paper as a material, I intend to draw on its symbolism to create a sense of touch and human presence for what could someday become an ancient tool for culture and communication. The work is fabricated through heavily process-driven steps of repetition—cutting, crumpling, piecing, and gluing.
I view these creations as metaphorical landscapes like pages in a book, the compositions are incremented into impressionable units that become accumulative, rhythmic, drifting, and ultimately dream-like. My work is tactile and intended to create the feeling of a physical shared experience, while delivering a quiet presence that reflects a meditative quality in a world that is always on and so loud.
Carmen Romine was born 1987 in Grand Rapids, MI and grew up in Medina when her family moved to Ohio. In 2010, she graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiber and Material Studies. Over the past ten years, Romine has continued her practice focused on concepts of sustainability and developing methods of artmaking inspired by the process in traditional fiber art. Carmen creates abstract landscapes out of paper and other mixed media that are meant to replicate an emotional connection to the landscape from memory. The compositions contain an element of movement that allude to the notions of transition and a changing environment. Her work is inspired by the natural world and questions the intrinsic value of consumerism through technology and humanity’s relationship with its environment.
In 2020, Romine was selected as one of the 10 participating artists for the “Paper Routes: Women to Watch” exhibition held in the Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery—an exhibition in partnership with the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. Her work has been collected by various businesses and residential clients throughout Northeast Ohio and continues to gain public recognition. Romine currently resides in Cleveland Heights, OH where she works out of her studio making artwork, building frames from her woodshop, and eco-printing every season outdoors with turkey roasters using the natural dyes from gathered wild plants and flowers. In addition to her practice, she makes handmade books through her craft business known as, “Tree Fibers,” and occasionally teaches fiber and book art workshops.