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The Daughters of Medusa

The Daughters of Medusa

 The Daughters of Medusa

 Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf

27th June The Koppel Project

6:30-9 pm

Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf, The Daughters of Medusa features bold, figurative paintings of women – both self- portraits and subjects Rebecca knows – inspired by the mythological characterisation of women’s cycles, as well as personal stories and experiences.

She explains: “Medusa is a symbol of woman as the other. Beautiful and pure on the one side and monstrous on the other.“This image exists in many different forms and is one we’ve carried culturally for millennia. It still shapes our views of womanhood and is inextricably linked with menstruation; the inherent ability to hold the cycle of life and death within oneself.
”The power of the female gaze – which plays such a vital part in the story of Medusa – serves as one of the main focuses for the series of paintings. Even in Medieval times, it was believed that a glance from a menstruating or menopausal woman had the power to poison, or even kill. This illustrates the immense threat perceived not only from women’s menstrual blood (end period poverty), but also from female power itself, which still exists in many forms today.

a private view rebecca fontaine wolf series of paintings featurinf females nude


The mixed emotions most women feel in today’s society towards their bodies and themselves, especially on those thresholds of change during the menarche and menopause, exemplify Medusa’s legacy. Rebecca was fascinated by the many negative and disturbing reactions she had from female viewers for washing the lower half of her painting of Venus in red paint, considering Venus is a goddess of desire, sex and fertility of which lifeblood is an essential element.

She also happened upon Muslim women on social media discussing the challenges around eating while having their periods during Ramadan – they aren’t supposed to fast during the holy month if this is the case, but many are too ashamed to be open about not fasting in front of male relatives.


Then a friend told Rebecca about her daughter’s anxieties around her first period and the negative ideas she had about ‘the curse’, which made Rebecca contemplate why this topic is still such a taboo, and most importantly, why it’s still only associated with discomfort and inconvenience. Something shameful at worst; embarrassing at best, but rarely regarded as positive.

She adds: “This seems especially ironic given that society is still so focused on women’s fertility. As every childless woman over 30 knows, the question as to when you will have kids arises frequently, even from strangers, with an implied expectation that you should fulfil your biological destiny before it’s too late. Yet the most vital ingredient in being able to bear children is still something people are uncomfortable talking about.” we need to end period poverty

Multi-award-winning artist, Rebecca was featured as one of the winners of BBC art programme Show me the Monet in 2011 and went on to become Vice President to the Society of Women Artists, founded in 1857, where she takes on a curatorial role. She has exhibited widely as a solo artist; curated and judged group shows and her work can be found in both public and private collections. Private view

End Period Poverty

A commitment to end period poverty around the world by 2030 will see millions go to projects providing sanitary products and working to eradicate the stigma that persists in the UK and beyond.

Around half of women and girls around the world lack access to sterile sanitary products, and often have to use strips of clothing, grass or animal hides to manage their periods.

Lack of affordable products and taboos around menstruation mean many girls miss school on their period, hampering their education and future opportunities.

It will see £2m invested in international aid to fund projects around the world providing sanitary products and education.

Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf 

The Daughters of Medusa

The Koppel Project

27th June 6:30-9 pm

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