Pope Jones is the pseudonym of Wren Kenney, a self-taught collage artist originally from the Kwinitekw Valley, home to the Nonotuck and Nipmuc indigenous peoples. This area is now known as the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts. Raised Catholic, Wren adopted the moniker Pope Jones based on the medieval legend of a female pope called Pope Joan. They have been collaging since they were thirteen years old. Passionate about feminism, their life has been shaped by strong women. Wren graduated from Simmons University with degrees in business administration and women’s and gender studies. They enjoy swimming, fishing and playing bass guitar.
Pope Jones creates cut-and-paste collages from cardstock, magazine cutouts, and found and salvaged material. Inspired by the do-it-yourself (DIY) ethos, they have been making collages since the age of thirteen. They are also a writer and make small self-published works called zines.
Pope Jones’ work explores numerous themes, including gender, sexuality, embodiment, trauma, and mental illness. Their most recent work has focused on glamour, hedonism, exploitation, and the nature of sin and virtue. Inspired by feminism and the opulence of the Catholic church, some collages reimagining feminine archetypes such as the Virgin Mary. A series of self-portraits explores their lived experience as a queer non-binary person. Their influences include Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Ana Mendieta and other feminist artists.