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Artist Statement

In my creative process, there is always a feeling that arises which I must tackle. It is familiar and safe yet distant and forceful. It is undefinable but it feels heavy, bodily, like I am wearing the feeling. It tingles and irritates me while it pushes me inward towards safety. As the feeling gets stronger, my pencil or brush strokes become firmer, harsher, and more intuitive. It appears and fades, challenging my own shifting feelings of self awareness and identity. It is a feeling of disconnect between one’s physical identity from one’s battling inner self.

My work has allowed me to explore this feeling and has led me to question the intimacy yet uncomfortableness of being and becoming within our bodies and what we choose to reveal and conceal. Using abstraction of form as a tool, my work suggests a sense of familiarity to the body but imposes a formal disconnect. I imply meaning to form by assigning order through repetition, symbolism, and extraction—resembling self imposed actions like exhaustion, manipulation, punishment and self doubt.

I often use my body as a tool or template, tracing it in uncomfortable poses, translating my physical form into an ambiguous one. This process has allowed me to create a framework for interpreting my physical discomfort and further explore the ambiguity of my form—regarding its identity, sexuality, and physicality.

My work resides at a threshold—the merging point of interiority and superficiality, intimate and grotesque. By relating the crudeness of the physical body to the delicacy of internal self, I challenge the opposing feelings of physical discomfort and internal safety while blurring the line between human body and ambiguous form.

For inquiries please email: sienapeterson.art@gmail.com


BA in Interdisciplinary Studies within the Arts at University of Illinois at Chicago

2017 – 2019 Chicago, IL

Art Education/Visual Art at Edgewood College

2014 – 2015 Madison, WI


DAWA Virtual Art Residency, Dear Artist With Anxiety (DAWA)

LAUNCH Invitational Residency, Chicago Artist Coalition

Art Commencement Award for Academic Exellence, University of Illinois at Chicago

Talent Scholarship, Edgewood College

Edgewood Review Magazine Feature, Vol.9, Edgewood College


And Boldly We Go Group Exhibition

The Martin Chicago, IL

Gone, Still End of the Year Show: Senior BFA Thesis

University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL

Senior BFA Thesis Show Open Studios

University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL

Collaborative Art Series Concurrence: Fever

Fulton Street Collective Chicago, IL

Fresh Press exhibition show

Figure One Gallery Urbana, IL

Stream Gallery Madison, WI