Maya Jeffereis is an artist whose work explores the spaces between presence and absence, visibility and invisibility, and the personal and collective, within the context of traumatic histories. Jeffereis’ work has been shown in the United States and internationally, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Queens Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, and Arthub Asia (China) among others. She has participated in residencies including LMCC Arts Center, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Canada), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and is a current participant in Asia Art Archive in America’s Leadership Camp. She is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at Hunter College. Jeffereis received a MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College, a BFA in Painting and Drawing, and a BA in Classics from the University of Washington.
Seeing Water Lilies is a three-channel video that reflects on what it means to see art in the absence of sight. The video is an exchange between Karen, who is legally blind, and the artist. The two met in 2013 at the Guggenheim Museum where Maya leads verbal description tours for people who are blind or have low vision. Here, Karen describes a work of art from memory, while the artist responds to her description through associative images. The video features verbal description, which uses evocative language to convey the visual world to people who are blind, in an attempt to understand how language succeeds and fails in communicating our sensory experiences of the world.