Fruiting Bodies by Jennifer Bieniek examines the human biological drive for procreation and narrates this cycle through a mythological journey; delineated through a multi-sensory installation. Drawing from Matthew Barney’s exploration of masculine reproductive drives in The Cremaster Cycle this installation presents an allegorical narrative of the feminine reproductive cycle as a way of extending the viewer's experience with female biological drives by using biomorphic forms to represent the biological collective. Using narrative as a tool to shape experience, the work considers the biological, cultural, and societal implications of women as life-givers.
The most powerful experience in my life was the moment I became a mother. Motherhood changed my view of the past and my future, as well as my personal identity as a woman. Something much greater than “I” revealed itself and the vastness of scheme seemed beyond my comprehension. Yet, this beautiful comprehension only made the eventual loss of a pregnancy that much more difficult to cope with. My work focused on loss for some time. Loss was a difficult stage in a cycle and I longed to reach the next phase. Seeing the maternal response as a system led my new work to an examination of the biological, psychological, and cultural factors controlling the female reproductive system. Myth serves as the foundation for my Fruiting Bodies installation. By sharing this experiential installation with the viewer I hope to leave them with a different perspective of female reproductive cycles.
About the artist:
Jennifer Bieniek resides with her husband and three daughters in San Antonio, Texas where she works as an art teacher and freelance artist. She works in fiber arts/ soft sculpture, and installation art related to creation and feminine experiences.
Jennifer began experimenting with fiber arts as a teenager eventually pursuing it as her focus in college. She received her B.F.A. in Studio Art Fiber from Texas State University in 1998. After teaching high school art for many years Jennifer reconnected with her own personal art practice in 2015 and began graduate school. Jennifer served as a teaching intern at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas in the spring of 2018 and just completed a second teaching internship at Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas in the fall of 2018. Jennifer is graduating with a M.F.A. in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design this December 2018. After graduate school she hopes to teach studio art courses at a college or university in her area.