Clara Schmitt

Title of Ring:
sterling silver, green agate
1 1/4″,  1/4” band
Artist Statement:
This design was imagined shortly after the last Presidential Election, during which there were many references to the mythological figure Medusa. She has long been used as a symbol for those wanting to demonize female authority and power. But since the 1900s Medusa has also increasingly been used as a symbol of unification in feminist movements. This shift is supported by a closer reading of the mythological story. Medusa’s frightening looks and power was actually an unjust punishment. She was molested by Poseidon in one of Athena’s temple. Athena, infuriated by this degradation punished Medusa by transforming her into the fearful creature that we know. Her new mighty but deadly powers were a curse for her and sent her into hiding, until she was tracked down and beheaded on Athena’s orders. So you can see how much the symbol can become ambiguous with new lighting. I believe it can trigger a deeper reflection on the treatment of powerful women by our modern society.

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