Medusa, Gorgon Goddess
Pastel, 16” x 20”, 2002 $2500
I was inspired to draw a picture of the Grecian goddess Medusa after seeing Caravaggio’s painting of Medusa’s severed head, and after reading the eco-feminist work “Gossips, Gorgons, and Crones: The Fates of the Earth” by Jane Caputi. I wished to create a pre-Hellenistic depiction of Medusa as protector of female sacred space and goddess of wisdom. In pre-Hellenistic Greece, the image of Medusa (or a gorgon in general) adorned women’s temples, as a sign that these spaces were reserved purely for the ladies, and celebrated female wisdom. Prior to patriarchal Hellenistic Greece, Medusa was considered one with Athena, Isis, Inana, and Ishtar, and was a representation of female wisdom and strength.
I was also inspired by the study of Kundalini meditation and the chakras. Kundalini energy is often described as the serpent coiling within the spine. The serpents in this painting and their coloration correspond to the chakras, particularly the lilac-burgundy colored serpent that is at the crown of the head, as the crown chakra is sometimes portrayed as purple. I was also influenced by the science-fiction movie “The Matrix” with the idea of the electric tube like cords plugged into the spine and skull – here transformed to represent the cosmic “plugging in” to the chakras and universal consciousness/wisdom.