Scarlet Women

Scarlet Women

My films ‘Post Gravity Citizen‘ and ‘Clean Your Bones‘ have been selected as part of the Scarlet Women exhibition alongside feminist surrealist icon Penny Slinger and many more incredible artists, the exhibition is curated by Manon Hebdenborg White (author of ‘The Eloquent Blood‘) and Sally Annett, artist and Founder of Atelier Melusine.

Siena Barnes, Post Gravity Citizen

Digital video, 2 min 25 sec, 2021

My first narrative film, Post Gravity Citizen, is an exploration of my experience of madness.

In the film I connect the psychological shadow, that which we mask and hide from the world, with shopping, where we acquire the external masks we hide behind, where we search for meaning one t-shirt at a time.

The Western remedy for fear is desire. The belief that fast cars, white teeth and a plumper pout will fix the pain of mourning, melancholia and the morass of modern existence in a phoney ritual honouring a facsimile of god.

At my lowest point, the shopping mall was my only solace. It was the palace of empty echoes, where gravity stopped working. I found myself falling, falling, falling, consuming and being consumed. Lost to the seething insanity that crept around the curtains late at night, death stalked me and sirens promised peace way below the shoreline.

Siena Barnes, Clean Your Bones

Digital video, 24 sec, 2021

Clean Your Bones explores sexual voyeurism and the policing of female behaviour.

From the biblical Fall to the Witch Trials, women have been inherently associated with the shadow, that which cannot be ordered, disciplined or contained.

The language of madness is wholly feminine, hidden in plain sight. The word lunatic derives from the description of a monthly bout of madness triggered by the moon while the word hysterical derives from the Greek word for womb.

Clean Your Bones examines how female sexuality has long been viewed as more susceptible to ‘evil’. Evidence from the Witch Trials featured titillating stories of women delighting in fornicating with the devil, it illustrated the deep held fear of an ungovernable female sexuality powerful enough to undermine the status quo, which was controlled and repressed by the demonization of women and heretics.

Instead of denying the body as strains of feminism seem determined to do – Clean Your Bones embraces both the biological and behavioural aspects of femininity and in doing so celebrates Her brazen complexity.