Trisha Kyner,
David Friedheim
and the Big Red Dog



We are a team of two established artists who work together under the name of Grendel’s Mother. This name was chosen out of sympathy with the female monster from the famous medieval tale Beowulf who is never given a name of her own. Grendel’s Mother strives to bring art that combines the monstrous and the playful into public forums. Our past projects have included collaborations with civic organizations, universities, museums and schools.

We met as instructors at the Crucible, a school devoted to linking arts, industry and community in Berkeley, California. Trisha taught ceramics and figure sculpture while David taught welded sculpture.

Our first collaborative project involved leading a group of students and volunteers in the fabrication of large paper mache sculptures for a public arts festival. The success of this experience led us to form Grendel’s Mother.

Since 2001 we have completed ten projects that have ranged from permanent outdoor sculptures to parade floats, using diverse materials such as fabric, cement, cob, steel and mosaic.

As Grendel’s Mother we have brought the process of sculpture to distinct communities. We develop projects that fit the goals of an institution to the skill sets of its members. Participants are involved in conceptualization as well as fabrication. Ideally, everyone comes away feeling a sense of authorship and an awareness that the group has created something no one individual could have done alone.




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