Medusa's Voice

Medusa’s Voice 

My work focusses on archetypal representations of women as witches and monsters in fine art and film. 

In Ovid’s telling of the myth, Medusa, a virgin priestess, is raped by Poseidon in the goddess Athena’s temple. Rather than challenge Poseidon (a powerful male rival) Athena blames Medusa for desecrating her sacred temple and curses her with a head of snakes. 

Caravaggio, Rubens and Cellini (among others) depict Medusa as a female monster, feted by the gods to be decapitated by male hero Perseus. Her hair is a nest of snakes, her eyes turn all that look on her to stone, punishing the male gaze with instant death. 

In my representation, parallels are drawn with modern victims of rape who continue to be humiliated and blamed for the sexual violence perpetrated on them. Medusa wears plain priestess robes with snakes close in colour to her hair. She has subtle scars from the assault and evidence of self-harming to her right arm. Her backstory as relevant today as it was in times of classical antiquity.

Silicone cowl & pro bondo scars on face and forearm / Plastiline sculpt on fibreglass core

Sculpt, prosthetics & makeup: Laura Jane Sessions / @eyeslikepandas

Model: Refika Salih / @refikasalihmakeup

Photographer: Robb Horsley / robbhorsley.com

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