June – October 2021
Watch the walkthrough
Siena Barnes’ new exhibition, The Night Star, is an installation comprising Siena’s signature oversized drawings, films and 3D printed antiquities. The Night Star sees Siena begin to use film as her primary, guiding medium.
In the show Siena’s films engage in conversation with the objects they inspire, the talismans, fetishes and statuary which mark Siena’s first foray into the world of 3D artworks. The exhibition examines the ancient Babylonian journey, a downward-spiralling voyage into the Great Below known as The descent of Inanna, the first recorded description of katabasis. In the katabasis myth the whore-goddess Inanna, the queen of heaven, must let go of her divinity, sovereignty and power and submit to her enemy, only to discover at the story’s end that she and her opponent are one flesh.
No-one returns from the underworld unscathed.
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 .
Many of the works presented in The Night Star originate from Siena’s temple dancer/stripper movie, Pray For Me, a meditation on the sacro-sexual® aspects of the feminine that harks back to a time before Eve and *that* apple, to a time when guilt and shame were not intrinsic aspects of sexuality.
The show brings us face to face with the untameable chaos of Dionysus projected through the tv eye of Apollo, it’s the creation of ritual art that allows the viewer to process what needs to be released.
The Night Star exposes the illicit personal and societal shadow because, now more than ever before, what is hidden must be seen.