Briony Morrow-Cribbs was born in 1982 in Berkley, California. Briony’s early interest in art was nurtured by growing up on Whidbey Island, WA in a large family of artists. In 2005, Briony graduated from the Emily Carr institute of Art in Design in Vancover, BC with a BFA. Following a brief move back to Whidbey, Briony decided to move to Brattleboro, Vermont to open an etching studio with fellow artist, Helen O'Donnell. Twin Vixen Press, now in its 3rd year of operation, provides classes and rental space to print artists in the Brattleboro community.
Recently, Briony has worked with author Amy Stewart and Algonquin Books to illustrate New York Times bestseller, “Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities.” The second book in the series, “Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects” will be published Spring 2011. Briony moved to Madison, WI in 2009, where she is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In my work I strive to create an accessible space between the world of science and the mutable world of imagination. To achieve this, the ‘monstrous form’ – with all its repulsive qualities and latent appeal – has become the focus of my work.
By employing contemporary models of scientific and commercial illustration this work builds an eerie new reality, adopting a tone of objectivity while creating scenes that are simultaneously tense and engaging. Built with intricate dots and dashes, the vocabulary of mark making alludes to engravings of 16th century naturalists. Subjects, who enter the scene as hybrid monsters and chimera, present disturbing juxtapositions while retaining elements of the familiar. Through these surreal creations a subversive moment arises in the viewer’s mind; where sensations of disgust meet those of desire. In essence, documenting the moment where the monstrous moves freely in the space between the grotesque and beautiful.
The medium of etching is the perfect mix of alchemy and modern chemistry and presents an appropriate way to document these forms. At first an odd compulsion, my obsession with rendering texture through line has become a comment on notions of order and control related to issues within the world of contemporary science.
While my practice deals with the broader themes of science, I have begun to sharpen my focus on issues around environment and advances in genetics. Simultaneously, my ambition lies in capturing a still and silent slice of narrative; revealing the vitality of the moment, consuming the viewer, making them pause.
Briony Morrow-Cribbs' Resume