Reclaiming Medusa : the muse as fragment

image (above) two ekplisso collages re-arranged with painted postcard and photograph of wax/honey filtering with poet, Stephanie Barber

(text – see below) annotated extracts from Robert Greaves ‘The Greek Myths’ and Vincent Cronin’s chapter on the earthquake at Agrigento in ‘The Golden Honeycomb’

‘Reclaiming Medusa : the muse as fragment’ is an attempt to reveal the patriarchal re-construction of the feminine from ‘Queen Bee’ to ‘muse’, of the (masculine) poet

As part of the Instagram @ekplisso conversation with Lucy Gresley I have been thinking about the agency and archaeology of a maze as a means of reclaiming (cyclic) feminine identity, by understanding the relational layers we make as we travel around and re-find ourselves on a familiar path.

Within the maze, horizontal, tentacular layers build vertically as pathways cross over each other (as one might walk over a grave) rather than intersect, because time has passed and we are not only approaching from a different direction but also from a different understanding of the relationships held within (and without) it.

This ‘work’/thinking consists of composite image and text and was made in response to ‘The Muse as Medusa (or Spectacular Tentacular)’, a collage by Lucy Gresley and a reference brought up in our conversation, to Helene Cixous’ ‘The Laugh of the Medusa”


Aphrodite, Queen of the Mountains and of the Heather: Queen Bee, the goddess in her orgiastic midsummer aspect  /  Medusa, raped in the temple of Athena by Athena’s father Poseidon, punished for her own rape and turned into a gorgon. Any man who looks into her eyes will be turned to stone………………..becoming the mountain within which she dwells and erupts as volcano, erotic fire?

Giants become religious symbols of erotic nightmares, associated with the mountain in which they live, of which Aphrodite is Queen.  “These giants are not flesh and blood, but earth-born spirits”,  a union of (mother) earth and Tartarus, a specific place for the wicked in the underworld………………the suppressed masculine spirit?

The goddess is consolidated as giant in the colossal sculptures of the ancient world, now known to us only in fragments “the earth heaved,….the giants and their intolerable burden, walls and entablature, ornaments and the partial roof disintegrated, flew apart, fell and lay still” 

“The Greeks………describe the Muses sending their bees to a poet’s mouth and producing there a dripping honeycomb” 

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