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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Kiertzner

Exploring Identity Through Fiber: A Conversation with Mixed Media Artist Brittany Kiertzner

View the VoyageLA Interview here: Interview with Brittany Kiertzner

Exploring Identity Through Fiber: A Conversation with Mixed Media Artist Brittany Kiertzner. Today, we have the pleasure of introducing you to Brittany Kiertzner, a remarkable mixed media and textile fine artist hailing from Upland, California. Brittany's journey is a fascinating exploration of her mixed heritage, deeply rooted in the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in Northern New York. Her artistic path, marked by a profound engagement with critical materials, weaves a narrative that reframes personal history within a contemporary context.

Brittany's artistic journey began during her studies at California State University, Fullerton, where her diverse background became a fertile ground for creative expression. Inspired by traditional craft forms like Mohawk Iroquois splint basket making and embroidery, she delves into themes of regeneration, authenticity, and material subversion. Through intricate interplays of woven and stitched threads, Brittany's work reflects a deep dive into the layers of history and tradition that shape her identity.

Since 2007, Brittany has been privileged to showcase her mixed media and textile-based works in solo and juried exhibitions across California. Currently based in Claremont, her recent body of work delves into the inherent vulnerability of life and death for the next generation of Indigenous women.

Challenges and Healing in Art

Brittany acknowledges that her journey hasn't been obstacle-free, yet her focus remains on healing and connecting that process to her work. In her recent sculpture, "Satahseht/ Hide Yourself," she abstractly expresses the pain of loss and insecurity faced by the next generation of Indigenous women. This emotional depth infuses her art with a unique perspective, bridging personal struggles and artistic expression.

Linear Symmetry and Critical Material Experimentation

Known for her linear symmetry, Brittany's work unfolds in straight lines that build upon themselves. Her experimentation with critical materials, especially in her recent focus on fiber, sets her apart. Creating large-scale, three-dimensional works of abstract embroidery, Brittany transcends traditional stitching boundaries. Her pieces, described as imaginative and emotional worlds, showcase dynamic movement and a unique sculptural quality. The interplay of threads, optical mixing of colors, and textures creates patterns that slowly emerge over time, akin to a lenticular effect.

No Room for Luck: A Strong Drive and Work Ethic

Brittany dismisses the role of luck in her artistic progress, attributing her success to a strong drive and work ethic. Despite facing obstacles, including the responsibilities of raising three young children under the age of five, she prioritizes her art. Her commitment is evident in her daily routine, beginning early each day to dedicate time to her craft. In her sculpture, "Thatesato:tat/ Be Quiet," Brittany explores the complex feelings surrounding how Indigenous women may exist in a sense of place and purpose, abstractly portraying transformations through imperfections, physical trauma, and resiliency.

Brittany Kiertzner's art is more than a visual feast; it's a journey into identity, heritage, and the nuanced experiences of Indigenous women. Through her unique use of materials and dedication to her craft, Brittany creates a space where art and life intertwine, inviting viewers to contemplate the complexities of existence and the beauty found within vulnerability.

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