“Biriney” is the pseudonym of artist Barbara Löschner. She has a degree in interior design from the Trier University of Applied Sciences. After graduating in 2003, she worked as a freelance artist and designer.
Barbara was born in France and grew up in Ortenau, a region in the south of Germany, with four siblings. She has been fascinated by figurative art from a very young age. She was only four years old when she crafted her first clay figurines in her father’s ceramics workshop.
As she grew older, she drew inspiration from art courses, internships, her travels and time spent living abroad. Barbara has been curious and enthusiastic about other countries and cultures since she was young. She has spent the most time in Morocco and Italy, and worked with local artists there.
Biriney created her first "Nana" figurine in 2004. Over the years, she has constantly added new materials and techniques to her repertoire. She created hundreds of figurines to date which are hallmarked by elaborate polychrome paintwork.
The artist has made her home in the region where the borders of Germany, Luxembourg and France meet. In 2014, she purchased and renovated a historic estate in Konz (near Trier), where she lives with her family today.
Here, in the beautiful countryside of the Saar-Mosel region, she draws the motivation, strength and inspiration she needs to devote herself to her work.
I step through the door, which is ajar, and take an inquisitive look around. The morning sun falls in slanted rays through the lofty space. In the centre of the room, I see a large sculpture and beside it, fully engrossed in her work, a creature wrapped up in heavy work clothes. Thick, pale dust forms a cloud around the two of them. I can see my breath. It’s just as frigid here in the workshop as it is outside.
The sanding machine shuts off.
“I’m right on time, it seems. Good morning!” I say as loud as possible, hoping that Biriney will finally notice I’m there. She doesn’t look up yet, but rather wipes the fresh sawdust from the sculpture, strips off her gloves and gently tests the surface with her finger. In my opinion, it looks smooth, even and velvety.
“She’s just pre-sanded,” Biriney explains, “I’ll do the real sanding by hand over the next few days. Only then will I paint her.“
Some time later, we are sitting at the dining table in the kitchen. „What is your motivation behind your work?“ I ask her.
She begins to explain: „You know, the diversity of shapes in the human body with all its different expression constantly fascinates me anew. For me, there is no definition of a beautiful body. What’s important is its direct impact and the ability to perceive a living soul. Imperfections often have the greatest appeal. Many of my works contain half a life story of a human being. They are the product of a lifetime of experiences. They stand by people after they’ve experienced a challenge, a crisis, a serious illness or the loss of a loved one.
For over 10 years I have been focusing on the plastic representation of the female body. But this alone is not enough. I am also fascinated by colors and especially the interplay of organic body shapes and color surfaces. There is so much to explore here. Niki de Saint Phalle deliberately caused an outcry with her first Nanas in the 1960s. But man has always been concerned with the artistic representation of his own body, under very different aspects, be it for example, social, gender-specific or related to the cycle of life. The role of women in society is for me one of the most burning topics that will always keep us busy. Earlier, today and in the future.“