Briefly describe the work you do.
I work as a performance artist, specializing in performative installation work. I look to transform significant cultural materials, concepts, and personal spirituality, ultimately working to navigate the creation of text through the body.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I originally started working as a sculptor working in ceramics. Working with ceramics opened me up to working and understanding materials and processes. A lot of my work has to do the process of merging performance, drawing and text, and transforming the physical materials I am working with.
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
My studio practice consists of lots of research and coffee dates. I love engaging with other artists/social justice fighters to talk about the creation of new pieces. I am almost never in my physical studio space, instead opting for experiences and moments in time that I share with those around me.
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I never thought I would get into social justice, but as my work has evolved my thoughts about the world and how we function as a people in it have changed dramatically.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
I make work whenever I can, but I work best late afternoon/late night/graveyard shifts. There is something about being awake when no one else is, working when the world is quiet that relaxes me.
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
I have been working in the arts for about 6 years now and over that past amount of time I have grown so much as an individual which directly relates to the type of work I am making. I am no longer scared to make work that I am passionate about. I now have the resources, resiliency and know how to create work that I feel reflects certain stories and experiences. I really believe in inter-generational memory and my ability to share that with others has become extremely important to me.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
My mother and grandmother inspire me tremendously, both working as art teachers for the past few years. Their work ethic astounds me and I seek to follow in their footsteps. My work can come off as very autobiographical, because i draw signifiers from my childhood, I would say my family and my spirituality have the most impact on my current work.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
I would be a social worker or art therapist I love working with kids, I love helping people through tough times in their life and I just really like being apart of something that encourages and provides solace to communities.
Emerging artist Bryana Siobhan is currently a Masters Candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston, and an Alumni of the Corcoran College of Art + Design with her Bachelors in Fine Art. She has been living and working in Boston, MA for the past 2 years as a performance artist, founder of revolutionaryperformance.tumblr.com (a performance art archive) and as a founding member of Petrichor Performance Collective. Working in the topic of US-centric social politics regarding race, gender, and mental health, Siobhan draws cultural cues and signifiers from the Black American, Afro-Cuban and Indigenous American (NDN) cultures.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.