Customer Spotlight: Jenny

My name is Jenny Maginn, I am a landscape artist based in a little village called Hilltown at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, Co. Down, in Northern Ireland. I live together with my three children and two very spoiled cats. And yes – from time to time, the kids get spoiled too! 

Currently I am a postgraduate student at Queens University Belfast, where I am near completion of a Master of Arts degree in Public History, specialising mostly in difficult and contested historical narratives in North America and Ireland. My research focuses on the challenges we face in the present day, due to the active disremembering of events in the past, while also highlighting the need for discourse around uncomfortable topics in history, particularly, marginalised voices of the invisible other.

A lot of the historical books I read can be quite heavy, so to balance things out I love to read good literary fiction. One of my favourite books of late is, Milkman, by Anna Burns, set in North Belfast during the troubles. Burns creates vivid imagery and makes lots of references in the novel that I could relate to, whilst also being quite witty – in that Belfast kind of way. Currently I am reading, The Testaments, by Margret Attwood - Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernardine Evaristo and Solar by Ian McEwan. 

I tend not to watch television much, but recently I managed to binge watch the entire box set of Breaking Bad, as we had a tragic bereavement in our family back in July and it really did help me to forget the real world for a couple of weeks. My all-time favourite film is Jean de Florette. 

Music is incredibly important to me, I play guitar and sing – albeit badly. Vibes are mostly Indy/alternative, grunge and post punk genres. My most recent playlist artists include John Grant, Tori Amos, Smashing Pumpkins, Buzzcocks, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Wolf Alice, Pearl Jam, The Cure and Pixies.

My music tastes tend to influence my fashion style, which is an eclectic mix of vintage, boho and punk – admittedly I am slightly in love with my collection of Doc Martin shoes/boots. I love to team my outfits up with a hat or some funky jewellery to add a splash colour. I do feel when it comes to fashion, less is more. Investing in more expensive, good quality ethical clothing is an opportunity to protest the fast fashion industry causing detrimental damage to our precious planet. My advice to anyone would be, to have fun, and most importantly express who you are with Pride… (memo to younger self). 

My paintings too reflect my love of colour, they are more than landscapes, they are dreamscapes - emotive, they embody my identity, memories, hopes and dreams! My work hangs in private collections internationally – across Europe, Canada, USA, and both Ireland and the UK.

As a hobby, I have started to collect original art by up and coming artists - something that gives me a lot of pleasure. I am also a craftsperson/maker, in the not too distant past I have crocheted Irish lace jewellery and created bright rainbow coloured polymer clay jewellery which I sold at craft fairs and markets across Ireland, however I chose to concentrate on my painting alongside my academic endeavours and raising a young family alone. 

This essentially is where I get my appreciation for handmade jewellery from small independent retailers like Luna and Flor, from whom I have purchased several pieces. I was so impressed by the kind humanity I witnessed recently on Instagram, a community of small independent companies working together, including Luna and Flor, who were involved in tenacious fundraising activities in aid if the people of Lebanon - truly inspirational.

The Luna and Flor pieces are very special to me personally, and were initially purchased during a time where I needed some colour and uplift in my life. Jonua was amazing and always available to message if any queries...she wrote me a beautiful personal letter during my recent bereavement and I will be forever grateful for her kindness.

As a strong ally for the Trans community and a member of the LGBTQI+ community, my favourite piece from Luna and Flor is the Spectral Cloud Necklace and I will always wear it with incredible pride. 

My artwork can been seen at https://www.instagram.com/jennymaginnart and at https://www.facebook.com/jennymaginnartist 

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