MEGHANN O'BRIEN, WEAVER
Meghann O'Brien (b. 1982; Jaad Kuujus, Kwaxhi'laga) is a Haida‐Kwakwaka'wakw‐Irish weaver specialized in cedar bark basketry, Yelth Koo (Raven's Tail) and Naaxiin (Chilkat) textiles of the Northwest Coast of British Columbia.
Her early life was spent as a professional snowboarder. She balances herself between “modern” and “traditional” First Nation perspectives, seeking ways to bridge worlds and to see traditional art new ways. In 2007, she began weaving baskets and later textiles. In her work with natural materials, she seeks transformation through process, regarding the natural world as a teacher.
Meghann O'Brien’s art is presented in renowned museums (e.g. MOA, Vancover) and galleries. She was one of the Kwakwaka'wakw-representatives and cultural ambassadors of the U'Mista Cultural Center (Alert Bay, Canada B.C.) at the exhibition "The Power of Giving" in Dresden in 2011.
In the film accompanying the exhibition “Let Them Speak! Comments from British Columbia, Canada”, Meghann O'Brien comments on and contextualizes her work with reference to objects from the Museum’s collection like the here shown Tlingit Chilkat blanket.
This project has been developed as a cooperation between Markus Lindner (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main) and Mona Suhrbier (Weltkulturen Museum). It is part of the culture program related to Canada’s Guest of Honour presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020/2021 and is supported by Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of Canada.