April 5 to 28, 2018
1111 1st Ave Seattle, WA 98101
I grew up in a political family. The art in my parent’s home reflected this interest. Posters of work by Kathe Kollwitz and other artists engaged in political expression were on our walls.
My interest has always been in a magical narrative that is a lot less specific. However, after last year’s elections I have found myself in a different frame of mind. I couldn’t, for example, continue the transparent lace dresses. I was searching for a stronger expression of my feelings in response to what had happened in America. The work became more abstract, with fewer detailed representational imagery. It felt like my personal garden of Eden had been invaded and I had no choice but to step out.
This body of work is concerned in particular with the developments around the unveiling of women’s repression. The #metoo and #timesup sentiment. My hope is that this unmasking of the wrongs in our society will bring healing for all.
The idea for the title of the show ‘to shed’ is linked to the idea of letting go of an old skin, an old belief or pattern. Letting go of shame around sexuality and nakedness, and by contrast moving into the strength of girl power and womanhood.
The young girls and women are stepping forward to be viewed in both their vulnerability and strength. They have nothing to hide. They can be both soft and strong. They can be themselves.
In my work I try to be as honest and true to myself as I can without losing discernment. I aim as best as I can for sincerity, intimacy and openness in my paintings. In them I find the beginning of something that touches the universal. It is a place where others can touch the magic and sensuality that gets exposed in the process.
I think deep inside of us lives a longing to experience a sense of 'falling in love'. A visceral experience without words. For that to happen, this place needs to be free of irony, social commentary or conceptual humor. I am looking in my work to find the point in which we feel a certain ache – the ache caused by the knowledge that life is full of light and dark, sacred and profane, beauty and ugliness, life and death.
Anne Siems 2018