This series is inspired by the women in Greek Mythology. Yet the female subjects of these paintings defy a specific time or place. The subject is familiar and yet unknown. She embodies a traditional stereotype from which she is attempting to escape.
Like many stereotypical female characters, the women of ancient mythologies experience very little control over their fate. In my paintings, I recontextualize these stories to give female characters more agency. In retelling these ancient myths, I use deconstructed tropes to reframe women as being in control of their own destinies. No longer are their futures decided by the men around them. Instead, these new narratives define the feminine as powerful and worthy.
My interest in Greek mythology started with the story of Medusa. Not knowing much about her story, I was surprised to discover that she’d never hurt anyone while she was alive. Although often portrayed as a monster, she hid in a cave during her lifetime to avoid harming others. It was only in self-defense (when men came in search of her), and in post-mortem, that she was used as a weapon. It got me wondering about how many other female Greek deities had been misrepresented in art historically and in contemporary culture and it started me on a journey of my own research and discovery. Expanding beyond Medusa, this series now considers the stories of the Three Fates, Persephone, Pandora, and many others.
These works are feminist both in content and medium. I draw from decorative patterns from bedspreads, tablecloths, and doilies that are regarded as domestic and therefore feminine. By augmenting my paintings with these patterns using screenprinting and other methods, I uplift these so-called “women’s crafts” to the level of fine art from which they have been historically excluded.
This body of work was exhibited at SOL Gallery in June 2023. Sign up for email updates.