Bibi S. Brion
Bibi S. Brion
Bibi is currently featured in our 2020 Spotlight Exhibit.
Bibi S. Brion was born in 1973 in “de Pijp,” a vibrant multi-cultural neighborhood in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She lived in Amsterdam until 2007 when she moved briefly to Tokyo, Japan. In 2008 she married an American businessman and they moved to his home town of Liberty in rural, northern Pennsylvania to assist in the care of his disabled father. They live in a renovated farm house with their four and two-year old sons.
Always a self-starter, Bibi has performed in rock bands, worked in media and the fashion industry. She has been a regular columnist in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, dispensing her knowledge and expertise in foraging, and is trained in graphic design.
While Bibi has had a life-long affinity for creating art and music, making a career of art is relatively new as she has only been painting full time since 2012. Bibi is self-taught and continues to refine her rigorous learning plan to overcome her lack of formal training while balancing the joy of her young family. Significant influences include Master Painter Richard Schmid, Qiang Huang, Ron Donoughe and Roos Schuring.
Her first solo show took place in 2014 at the Gmeiner Arts and Cultural Center in Wellsboro, PA, and coincided with the birth of her first son. Since then she has participated in various smaller shows, winning awards in every juried show entered and finding time to have a second son in 2016. She paints full time in her home studio and en plein air.
I live in a remote farmhouse on land that is being reclaimed by nature. The few remaining dairy farms in the area are rapidly being encroached by the growing forest. A few miles away, in the small town that holds our post office, there are the remains of factories so long out of use, it doesn’t occur to most people that they had ever been factories at all. Remaining from better times are a bank, a small grocery store, the post office, a barbershop and a coffee shop housed in the former hardware store. Just outside of town, a new restaurant, country store (think local Cracker barrel), and gas station cater to the interstate highway exit. No red lights.
This contrasts starkly with my native Amsterdam and Tokyo, Japan the last places I have lived. Now I long for a life with access to a wide variety of art, music, food and people; one that is full and vibrant. Living in a place of solitude where civilization seems to be losing its battle with nature has forced me to to explore my personal experience with Place. My work can be regarded as a traditional presentation of coarse and challenging rural life, beautiful in all it’s ugliness with run-down barns and dilapidated houses, framed by nature’s vibrant onslaught. At the same time, it is a very personal presentation of the duality in truth. I seek to share opposing and conflicting emotions in my subjects, finding excitement in the mundane, goodness in neglect, consolation in sadness, and beauty in decay.
These themes mirror my life experience over the past decade of finding growth in what is maddening, safety in embracing risk and celebrating diversity in the face of ignorance. It is my evolving understanding of these truths that underpin and drive my current work.Bibi S. Brion