Harmening’s work has always been autobiographical, and her other interests in traditional women’s work, language, and perception are referenced in the exhibition. The work is a mixture of easily readable text paintings using stenciled letters and more obscured layered crocheted text, using spray paint and acrylic stretched onto canvas. Other crochet pieces become sculpture, like “Soon there won’t be any of me left” which was has been submerged in latex paint or “ Part of me is dead” where a thread leads to a cinder block which references drowning. Harmening makes text and material choices to introduce viewers to her moments of pain, loss, and heartbreak so that they may recall their own.
Briena Harmening is a 2010 MFA graduate from the University of Tennessee. She was recently featured in the Annual Art of the South Juried Exhibition at Memphis College of Art, curated by Wayne White. Harmening has also recently studied at Penland School of Craft. She teaches Advanced Art and the International Baccalaureate Art program at Hillsboro High School.