Multidisciplinary artist and musician Amanta Scott’s newest project – Eyeing Medusa – is a powerful and ambitious celebration of visionary women making a difference. Each painting’s title and story parallels a legendary heroine with a contemporary woman.
Former Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella, for example, is paired with Deborah – a figure in the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible. Deborah was an exemplary prophetess, who succeeded in delivering her people from the hands of their oppressors.
In another painting, Queen Elizabeth II is paired with Pythia – the Oracle of Delphi, considered the most prestigious and authoritative oracle among the Greeks. Each online page of Eyeing Medusa contains comprehensive information on both the modern and the legendary heroine.
In one of the most powerful paintings, Scott pairs world-renowned Anishinaabe water-rights activist Autumn Peltier with Medusa, the terrifying legend with snakes for hair whose rage can turn a person to stone just for looking at her. Scott uses the paintings to illuminate urgent social issues.
“By fusing the past with the present, I invite viewers to look at women in a new light and consider these artworks as a means to illuminate and address urgent social issues such the global increase in racist and sexual assaults on women; LGBTQ2S+ and people of colour; the undermining of women’s rights; and our looming environmental crisis,” Scott says.
Eyeing Medusa opens this weekend at the Orillia Museum of Art and History, running through April 15, 2023.