Bio

 

Siena has exhibited across the world in cities including Tokyo, Nashville, London and Berlin. Examples of her sexy, subversive and surprising work can be found in the Tom of Finland Foundation collection, hanging next to Kim Gordon in Nashville and emblazoned across the chests of Harajuku fashionistas. She continues to collaborate with iconic Japanese fashion legends Hysteric Glamour, hits the studio every day and sells on the secondary market.

Perennially provocative, Siena Barnes’ elegant and obscene ink drawings and esoteric sinema explore western consumer culture’s continued preoccupation with sexuality, transgression, and liberation. In a secular world, transgression offers the ultimate experience of liberation from self and from failing social structures. In Siena’s work, female sexuality stands as a cypher for the shadow, for the unmanageable depths of the psyche which cannot be disciplined, ordered or contained. Barnes invites viewers to embrace the illicit personal and societal shadow because, now more than ever before, what is hidden must be seen.

 

Artist Statement

 

I grew up on a small aeolian island called Lipari where I was captivated by the endless burlesque of catholic ceremonies and relics.

On returning to London as a child I grieved the apparent death of god. The sacred desperation that filled my hole was the neon Soho back alley notion of the illicit.

In a post orgy world when many of the great sexual revolutions have taken place and every foible, kink and persuasion have been exhausted, monetised and advertised, I am fascinated by western consumer culture’s continued preoccupation with sexuality, transgression, and liberation.

Like Bataille says, transgression is not simple hedonism or unrestrained sexual license; rather its power lies in the play between taboo and transgression, through which one systemically constructs and then oversteps all laws (i). In the absence of God, transgression appears to offer the ultimate experience of liberation from self and from failing social structures.

In my work, female sexuality stands as a cypher for the shadow, for the unmanageable depths of the psyche which cannot be disciplined, ordered or contained (ii).

I am interested in the sacro-sexual® aspects of the feminine that hark back to a time before Eve and *that* apple, a time when guilt and shame were not intrinsic aspects of sexuality.

My work embraces the illicit personal and societal shadow because, now more than ever before, what is hidden must be seen.

– Siena Barnes, 2021

i. Urban, Hugh B. Magia Sexualis. Sex, Magic and and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism. University of Calfornia Press. 2006.
ii. Farrar & Farrar. Witches Way. Robert Hale. 1984

 

Outlaw Feminism

 

A Manifesto

 

We control the gaze.

Our ‘nature’ is physical and digital.

We relinquish like-ability.

We choose authenticity over attachment.

We embrace the shadow.

We dedicate ourselves to passion.

We rejoice in sensuality.

We honour the sun and moon tides.

We set the world on fire.

We reject ideology in all forms, especially this manifesto.

– Siena Barnes, 2022

Bio

 

Siena has exhibited across the world in cities including Tokyo, Nashville, London and Berlin. Examples of her sexy, subversive and surprising work can be found in the Tom of Finland Foundation collection, hanging next to Kim Gordon in Nashville and emblazoned across the chests of Harajuku fashionistas. She continues to collaborate with iconic Japanese fashion legends Hysteric Glamour, hits the studio every day and sells on the secondary market.

Perennially provocative, Siena Barnes’ elegant and obscene ink drawings and esoteric sinema explore western consumer culture’s continued preoccupation with sexuality, transgression, and liberation. In a secular world, transgression offers the ultimate experience of liberation from self and from failing social structures. In Siena’s work, female sexuality stands as a cypher for the shadow, for the unmanageable depths of the psyche which cannot be disciplined, ordered or contained. Barnes invites viewers to embrace the illicit personal and societal shadow because, now more than ever before, what is hidden must be seen.

 

Artist Statement

 

I grew up on a small aeolian island called Lipari where I was captivated by the endless burlesque of catholic ceremonies and relics.

On returning to London as a child I grieved the apparent death of god. The sacred desperation that filled my hole was the neon Soho back alley notion of the illicit.

In a post orgy world when many of the great sexual revolutions have taken place and every foible, kink and persuasion have been exhausted, monetised and advertised, I am fascinated by western consumer culture’s continued preoccupation with sexuality, transgression, and liberation.

Like Bataille says, transgression is not simple hedonism or unrestrained sexual license; rather its power lies in the play between taboo and transgression, through which one systemically constructs and then oversteps all laws (i). In the absence of God, transgression appears to offer the ultimate experience of liberation from self and from failing social structures.

In my work, female sexuality stands as a cypher for the shadow, for the unmanageable depths of the psyche which cannot be disciplined, ordered or contained (ii).

I am interested in the sacro-sexual® aspects of the feminine that hark back to a time before Eve and *that* apple, a time when guilt and shame were not intrinsic aspects of sexuality.

My work embraces the illicit personal and societal shadow because, now more than ever before, what is hidden must be seen.

– Siena Barnes, 2021

i. Urban, Hugh B. Magia Sexualis. Sex, Magic and and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism. University of Calfornia Press. 2006.
ii. Farrar & Farrar. Witches Way. Robert Hale. 1984

 

Outlaw Feminism

 

A Manifesto

 

We control the gaze.

Our ‘nature’ is physical and digital.

We relinquish like-ability.

We choose authenticity over attachment.

We embrace the shadow.

We dedicate ourselves to passion.

We rejoice in sensuality.

We honour the sun and moon tides.

We set the world on fire.

We reject ideology in all forms, especially this manifesto.

– Siena Barnes, 2022