I wanna love you but you’re not making it easy
I wanna love you but it’s not easy
Sometimes my head bends
I kinda got hooked on your scent
A funny trick, a handshake
I wanna peek, I wanna sip…
- Wanna Sip, Fever Ray, 2017
Wanna Sip is a track on the 2017 album, Plunge, by Fever Ray. For Karena Keys, Wanna Sip’s lyrics resonate as an exploration of the dichotomies of self, such as: love vs loathing, vulnerability vs strength and desire vs protection, as well as the anxieties that can accompany the complexity of these emotions. Keys explores these themes in her own practice, using material, emotional and spatial tensions that tap into personal histories, memories and experiences. To make her work, Keys explores the push and pull between the will of the material, her own movements, gestures and breath and the natural forces that all matter is subject to.
Karena Keys was born in Canberra in 1981 and currently lives and works in Ngunnawal and Ngambri country. She completed a Bachelor of Art (Visual) with Honours at the Canberra School of Art in 2005, and a Master of Fine Art at Sydney College of Arts in 2014. Keys has exhibited widely across Australia and was awarded the Reading Room CAPO London Exhibition Award (2012) and the prestigious Qantas Encouragement of Australian Contemporary Art Award (2018).
Karena Keys, Wanna Sip, 2022, latex, perspex, acrylic paint, artists breath, LED light and glass. Courtesy the artist.