Blake Ward

The Metamorphosis of Medusa

The Metamorphosis of Medusa
The inspiration for this work came during a tour of archaeological sites in western Turkey, where the portraits of Gorgons; the guardians of the entrance to the underworld, decorated Greek and Roman temples built in the region. My interest in these motifs began with my first visit to Europe. The representation of horrifying portraits found in architectural references on temples, homes and graves were added to protect them from harmful and mischievous spirits. With the rise of the Christian church, these pagan ideas were refuted and these portraits were presented as decorative figures.

This sculptural work depicts the metamorphosis of Medusa in four stages as she turned from woman to monster. Beginning with a conventional image of a handsome woman, whose hair is adorned with snakes, as described in the early myths. The serpents around her gradually become less abundant as she absorbs them into her changing persona.

The second portrait depicts an increasingly grotesque image, involving mystical and imaginative aspects. Her facial features change and eyes become more intense, developing into an intuitive stare seemingly more masculine then feminine.

The third representation changes more dramatically, further distorting the figure and finally leading to the fantastic. The scales of her snake-like body are enlarged giving her a more monstrous, grotesque form as the animalistic characteristics invade her appearance.

The fourth sculpture completes the transformation to serpent and shows her having enveloped the surrounding snakes into her. Her face has been stretched to make her features more prominent and fiendish with the scales and ears of a reptile. Her nose and mouth have flattened while her eyes have taken a more sinister nature, the culminating image may just be frightening enough to turn the viewer to stone.


39cm, 20cm, 17cm (H├Âhe, Breite, Tiefe)
30cm, 20cm, 17cm (H├Âhe, Breite, Tiefe)
31cm, 22cm, 19cm (H├Âhe, Breite, Tiefe)
32cm, 20cm, 18cm (H├Âhe, Breite, Tiefe)
30cm, 21cm, 18cm (H├Âhe, Breite, Tiefe)
Edition of 3 plus 1 Artist Proof
Figurativ, Fantasie
Spiritualit├Ąt, Gesellschaft, K├Ârper
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