Medusa has sunk her fangs into South Campus.
Greek multimedia artist Pavlina Vagioni held an opening reception for her exhibit “Gorgon” at the Carillon Gallery Jan. 25.
Vagioni’s art is centered around Greek mythology. Her previous art has included pieces titled “The Sirens” and “Eros & Valentine.” “Gorgon” takes inspiration from the story of Medusa.
“I like female themes, and I like misinterpreted female themes,” Vagioni said. “The Medusa myth — there are so many versions of it, and it is so confusing. So, I tried to shed some light in the earliest versions of that which was a protective symbol.”
During the opening reception, Vagioni addressed attendees in an artist talk. She discussed her research process.
“With Medusa, what I was interested in was first of all, why the snake?” Vagioni said. “I was researching the meaning of fear. Why is it when you look at this monster, you will turn into stone? Why is it a feminine archetype that is supposed to kill you and scare you?”
Vagioni used several different mediums for the exhibit, from conventional to unconventional. The snake scupture makes use of knitted synthetic hair and Vagioni’s hands molded in a position to mimic a snake’s mouth. South instructional assistant Danelle Carr helped install the exhibition over three days.
“The install was really fun,” Carr said. “We had three, really tall ladders — like a 15– foot one — and we were kind of weaving the snakes. And most of my day was spent with a snake above my head which is awesome.”
South student Nathalie Mejia is currently enrolled in Art Appreciation. The exhibition piqued her interest in art.
“It’s beautiful,” Mejia said. “When [Vagioni] started explaining, it all just made sense. At first you just look at like and you’re like ‘“Oh, it’s nice.’” But when she explained everything, it all pieced together. Now I really do want to go look at more art.”
Phil Ford attended South Campus from 1997 to 1998. Though he is no longer a student, he has visited shows at The Carillon Gallery since the pandemic.
“I originally started as a painter and then I became a musician, but I still have a love for art,” Ford said. “I go to all the TCU shows, some SMU shows, if I have the opportunity to travel.”
Carr is delighted that The Carillon Gallery has received so much attention from the local community.
“We love it,” Carr said. “That’s what we are trying to foster here, art for the entire community, make it accessible, make it free. Especially when we have international artists, from Greece or last semester we had someone from Brussels, we want people to come in and see these artists, as many as possible while they are here.”
“Gorgon” will be open to the public in the Carillon Gallery until Feb. 22.