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    Sienna Todd  Senior Thesis Exhibition, April 2021

    May Gallery • University of San Diego
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    is about reclaiming feminine mythologies, about seeing the ways the narratives of feminine figures have been shaped by oppressive male perspectives, and holding a light up to how these stories mirror the experiences of women today.

    There is a power in naming something, in identifying how stories shape our lives, and how every woman carries her own story. This series of large oil paintings explores mythological narratives through a feminist perspective in a way that centers feminine voices, seeking to become an activation of empathy by reimagining, reclaiming, and reinterpreting their stories to reveal instances of women’s suffering, struggle, and strength.

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    Transformation of Medusa

    My blood gives life.
    My story is one of pain and transformation.
    A truth in its own right
    Yet only uttered as a twisted war story
    For the glory of a man.
    I heal and find my own power.
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    Reflection of Medusa

    Monster and Villainess.
    Why are these the words we turn to?
    Is the monster a better story,
    My pain twisted to give power
    To a supposed hero?
    Why is loss of beauty deemed
    The ultimate punishment for a woman?
    History has named the Victim
    The Monster.
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    Diptych, oil on canvas

    I prophesy truths no one believes.

    Death weaves into death,

    An endless litany of voices

    Suppressed and Silenced.

    My warnings join the cacophony of the unheard.

    Yet I see a tide rising.


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    CASSANDRA top panel detail, oil on canvas by Sienna Todd


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    CASSANDRA bottom panel detail, oil on canvas by Sienna Todd


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    My voice is dangerous.

    When we challenge their lies,

    The powerful claim oppression

    With phrases built on the deaths

    Of women who dared to live.

    It’s not a Witch Hunt.

    It’s a reckoning.

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    In the sway of my leaves,

    A vestige of my final violent breath,

    You saw a nod of consent.

    Though my lips have sealed,

    My body is protected by my silent bark

    Yet you pluck my leaves from my limbs

    As though I have given them willingly,

    An excuse on your lips that I should be pleased.

    They will become a symbol of victory.

    But whose victory?

    Where you saw a wild thing to be tamed,

    I felt fleeting freedom.

    Where you saw a pursuit of passion,

    I felt hunted.

    Where you saw love,

    I felt fear.

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    They say I am a pawn

    In a war of male ego.

    Complacent. Loving. Captive.

    But in the silence,

    I call for plague,

    I curse my captors,

    I resist in quiet anger.

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    Artwork and text copyright Sienna Todd, 2021.

  • A virtual tour of the exhibit

    Sienna Todd  Senior Thesis Exhibition, April 2021

    May Gallery • University of San Diego