Ana Fleming

MFA | Painting


I am a third-year MFA candidate in painting and drawing, based out of South Bend, IN and Peoria, IL. My work employs illusionistic oil painting and charcoal drawing techniques to tackle questions related to speculative futures, nonhuman worlds, and entangled ecologies. Inspired by thinkers like Donna J. Haraway, Eugene Thacker, and Jeff VanderMeer, my work is often inspired by weird fictions, as well as scholarship from philosophies like speculative realism, new materialism, and narrative theory. Artists that inspire my work include Inka Essenhigh, Anicka Yi, Lee Bul, Wangechi Mutu, Ivan Albright, and the Surrealists. Additional passions include animals, playing piano, listening to progressive metal, and drinking hot tea.


Into the Chthulucene 

Drawing from the genres of speculative and weird fiction, my work strives to posit potential futures—visions of a world unfurling, in uncertain balance, at the threshold of the Chthulucene. Donna J. Haraway defines the Chthulucene as a “timeplace for learning to stay with the trouble of living and dying…on a damaged earth,” a tentacular space of multispecies interactions, tensions, and possibilities. Engaging world-building as both a visual and conceptual task, I explore the premise of the Chthulucene to craft imagined spaces inhabited by hybrid forms, precarious fusions of mechanical, vegetal, biological, and amorphous entities in various states of encounter. 

Entwining, outreaching tentacles sprawl and latch; forms and bodies interlock and reverberate in dynamic becomings-with, all threads in a complex tapestry of matter. The restless, mutating bio-technological forms within my work strive to challenge stable categorizations, lingering indeterminately among the realms of the living and nonliving, the thoughtless and intelligent, the artificial and organic, draped center stage in a world-space simultaneously indifferent towards and haunted by the absence of the human.

Narratively suggestive, these works foreground nonhuman worlds, attempting to reckon with entities at once intriguing and unknowable, part-real, part-imagined, whose cloudy ontologies spur a reexamination of the physical and philosophical systems we inhabit. Without a clear sense of end or origin, these speculative world-scapes simultaneously invoke references to the alien; to extinction and survival, devastation and reconfiguration; to the depthless intricacy of the world as it already exists, and as it might exist, beneath and beyond our familiar human scale.

Dendodendria. The splintering of a reality: branchings and sutures, remappings of time.

Oil on canvas | 40x60 inches | 2020

Echoes, shrieks, redoubling and recombining in an alien resonance. The blistering yelps of a blue congregation, singing in illegible exchange.

Oil on canvas | 36x60 inches | 2021

Distant Lase / Warm Envelopment

Oil on canvas | 40x40 inches | 2021

Ghosts We Carry

Oil on canvas | 8x8 inches | 2021

Their Dreams Never Reach Us

Oil on canvas | 10x20 inches | 2021

A Simulated Chemistry

Oil on canvas | 8x8 inches | 2021


Oil on canvas | 30x30 inches | 2020


Oil on canvas | 36x36 inches | 2020

Moment III: Lightless Bloom

Oil on canvas | 8x24 inches | 2020

Moment II: Clingings

Oil on canvas | 8x24 inches | 2020

Spiral; splinter. Painful exposures, a burning twinge as casings falter. Cracks from the torsion; crystalline stress; molecular reconstitution.

Charcoal on paper | 17x11 inches | 2021

Sapling; dangerous stem. The quiet retrieval of promises lost and encodings deep.

Charcoal on paper | 8x10 inches | 2021

Twisting through the cool, neon night. Clinging, straining, stunned by a shrill and inhospitable light.

Charcoal on paper | 15x15 inches | 2021