Courtney Wade

Photography BA(Hons)


"Mythos" explores myths in which women have become demonised and challenges the narratives placed on these women by addressing the male gaze. The work focuses on the figures of Lilith from Jewish Mythology and Medusa from Greek Mythology, both women who became monsters after harmful interactions with the male sex. Both myths became symbols of what happens when a woman disobeys or denies men’s desires, the become monsters. The work, however, celebrates the female form through these women owning their own sexuality in a defiant way, almost daring people to look at them. By producing a mixture of portraiture and still life, I have incorporated ideas of typical femininity, such as fragility and fertility, and juxtaposed them with more masculine ideas like danger and strength through the use of props to create more complex characterisations. The work blurs the lines between fantasy and reality through the use of dramatic lighting, which creates the effect of a studio outdoors, highlighting the connection between the mythical women and the very real women that the work represents. The work focuses on breaking down the harmful narratives that the myths imply to give women a sense of taking back their own power.