Medusa (Comb)

Joy BC
Medusa (Comb), 2023
Dark green bronze, 18kt rose gold,
950 platinum, 7.61kt of natural un-heated Fuli Peridot brooch and sculpture.

This metamorphic artwork challenges definition. A mutating comb, a brooch – both a sculpture and a jewel. Combs date back to 5500 BC. Across cultures and continents, they are recognizable domestic objects, which are inherently connected to self-image and grooming. Combining noble metals, gemstones and bronze, the work oscillates between various material and categorical perceptions associated to both decorative and fine arts.

The teeth of the comb seem to be moving, swaying like the tendrils of an anemone under the sea. We often talk about nature as if it is something separate from us, but we are nature. Medusa connects the human and the animal. She attracts yet disturbs the viewer – her hair a bed of writhing snakes. Though some may think of her as a monster, she was the only mortal out of her gorgon siblings. Her name literally means ‘Queen’. It was the act of violence, rape and scorn that changed her. Medusa has been a subject for artists throughout the centuries. This piece is my modern take on Medusa.

To me, it is a story of a powerful woman wronged – a story that has been repeated over centuries. But it is also a story of transformation and power. Joy BC


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