Leslie Sheryll

I like to incorporate symbolism used in traditional paintings prior to the 20th century within many of my images. In 2016, I went to a fabulous exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum in New York called Securing The Shadow. It was about Posthumous Portraiture in America. It re-sparked my interest in the symbolism used within 19th-century paintings that I never really got a chance to delve into.

I bought the book that was published for the exhibition, and I was astonished that it aligned so well with so many of the different series that I had been creating over the years about women. It inspired my then-new series titled Mourning Tears. All of the various shapes, flowers, colors, scenery, and animals are used as a language to convey a story or emotion within each image. I love that even though the Victorians were outwardly repressed there was always a way to secretly by-pass those taboos. 

My feminism is about strength, solidarity, sisterhood, and action. So many of our rights as women are under attack again. Our environment is being destroyed. Money talks, nothing else matters. The women of the 19th century began their fight for the right to vote and it took 70 years. They were persistent and made great strides. We cannot forget what they did and let our rights wither away. We need to get the message out by educating and motivating the younger generation to take action, and we all need to stay engaged and do everything necessary to protect and advance our rights as women. 

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Dek Unu Paperbook: Leslie Sheryll                  

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