Jennifer McBrien

Painter turned Fiber Artist

"It helps reflect on what the hell is going on. It helps get all the noise that is being blasted at us, out into a creative space."

Describe yourself as a maker/artist/creative 

I am a painter turned fiber artist who has lived in Baltimore my entire life. I have a passion for birds and nature and drawing with my sewing machine. 

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a series of bird women who comprise of female bodies with bird heads and sometimes, wings. I remember seeing the Alexander McQueen exhibit “Savage Beauty “ at the Met in 2011 and was so struck by the wings he incorporated into some of his creations. I remember thinking that if I had those wings, I would be the most confident woman around.  I started seeing them in my head when I am in Savasana when doing yoga a number of times and knew I had to make them as my saviors in my work. I’m making them with color thread as well as in simple black thread. I’m putting them in environments with plants and other birds that play and collaborate with the imagery of the fabric. 

Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?

I’ve started a postal pillow series that include silkscreen mailboxes that Matt Muirhead started to do to send out to support the postal system. I wanted to contribute to his cause and add to it with my imagery and stitchery. 

 

In your opinion, what is the role that the creative process can play in helping us confront our “new” reality?

It helps reflect on what the hell is going on. It helps get all the noise that is being blasted at us, out into a creative space. It helps us to relate our feelings and thoughts about our current situation out there to others who feel the same way. It makes us feel less isolated. 

Any advice or insight you'd like to share?
 

 I’m so thankful for social media just in terms of finding these connections and conversations.

See more of Jennifer's work here