Biography

Contact me at rayemasterjen@gmail.com

Jenny's work focuses on tears and ruptures, be they in the physical landscape or the social environment. On a formal level she has always been inclined to break the picture plane, be it through a line of blanket stitches holding together canvas and upholstery fabric, or an eyelet cut into handmade paper. We inhabit a reality in which we often feel profoundly unsettled, finding ourselves between relationships, between contracts, between world views. We work with what we've got, second hand clothes, buckled paper or perhaps a personal narrative with holes in the plot. We are always in transit, in the process of damage control.

Fibres,encaustics and performance art are all important aspects of Jenny's artistic practice with the use of thread running through them as a connecting filament. The traditional medium of painting is used in tandem with the applied arts of paper making and embroidery. The running stitch, blanket stitch or buttonhole stitch are constants in Jenny's work representing an effort to repair, heal or draw together fault lines without any attempt to hid the rupture which previously occurred. Raw or recycled materials are not hidden but embraced as a part of her aesthetic. A tear or rupture is accompanied by pain and vulnerability but it also represents an opportunity to rebuild in a fashion which accommodates new circumstances.

Jenny's work is frequently concerned with mapping be it through maps of a more literal sort such as those of Almonte or Ottawa, or haptic maps of the human body written in the creases and folds of clothing. She has also facilitated mapping through conversations which leave their imprint through the leaking of beverages from faulty receptacles and decanters. In performances trickster figures upturn formal events sometimes leading to raucous parties drawing on the transformative power of the carnivalesque. Food and drink, which generally act as a social glue, end up spilled on the table or laid out on the floor. The nature of the event is called into question but also the import of the edibles. All stuff has a history.


Jenny McMaster champions the aesthetics of rupture, repair and recycling. The traditional medium of painting is used in tandem with the applied arts of painting and fibres. The running stitch, blanket stitch or buttonhole stitch acts as a point of continuity through multiple aspects of her practice.