These mixed media works on delicate Japanese paper were created through a process that converts sensory deprivation into drawing. “Carceri” which literally means isolated places, were inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi's journeys into caves to meditate where he wore blinders, claiming the spiritual light he experienced in meditation was so great that any additional (physical) light would be lethal.
These works were generated through several hours in a meditative state while continually blindfolded without sound. The listening facilitated by extreme forms of aural and visual silence has been central to the artist’s process and has proven to be a useful tool for generating natural breakthroughs of perception. Chavez states,
In order to truly advance one’s medium, an artist must first take counsel from it. If I wish to work effectively with my medium, which is essentially light, I must first submit myself to darkness so that the true light can reach me and penetrate the blindness of my natural eyes. Mark-making from this standpoint feels far more potent and sensate, as the light I experience in a state of sensory deprivation is far greater than anything I have seen with my natural eyes. As human beings, we only perceive an estimated 10-15% of the light spectrum. So by extension, the vast majority of reality lies beyond our natural perception. I am interested in what happens to art when the natural eye becomes a vessel for a light that is beyond its natural capacity. Will that vessel burst or expand? What will art, but also science, become if the eye is treated as a vessel of this kind of light, if vision is granted as a gift and if the gaze becomes an ambassador of wonder?