Victoria Rance

The Medusa series began when I saw the column with Medusa’s head in the Cisterns of Constantine in Istanbul. I was awe struck by the chthonic nature of the head upside-down in the water under the city. It felt deeply symbolic and mysterious, as though the city was founded – or rather the Byzantine era of the city was founded - on the suppression of the power of the feminine; even though that power here is dark, deep and destructive. And so powerful that it turns people to stone.

I made an aluminium version of Medusa’s hair as a head dress, and when my niece, a dancer, came to visit my studio she saw it and asked to try it on. I worked on the photos digitally and made an animation.  Then I made Perseus’s sickle, shield and shoes, and my son (a video game enthusiast) played with them for another animation. I have put two images together here, calling it ‘Medusa with Perseus Victorious’.

How much Perseus has managed to quell Medusa’s power is left to the imagination.

I am showing the series of sculptures, images and animations at The Chalabi Gallery Istanbul from May 10 to June 10, 2012