Medusa Gorgona: I am photographer inspired by fairy tales and Pre-Raphaelite paintings. I love create dark whimsical romantic pictures with textured look, dominated by strong colors.
My goal is find a speck of magic in every woman and turn it to bonfire to light a beautiful vessel of human body from within.
“Wind among the Blooms”
Cool and cold day with Gemma, when we shop for dresses to shoot and shoot each other in my garden. I love Gemma retouching style, so pre-raphaelite.
Photographer Gemma Wyrd – model & photographer
Model Medusa Gorgona Model
Studio Medusa’s Garden Studio — with Maria Mirage.
Artienne: What was the first modelling or photography? How long are you interested in photography? What was the first impulse?
Maria: Difficult to separate what was first as I started taking pictures when I was a teenager, and it was all kind of pictures cloud in the sky, feral cats in old houses, macro of flowers, landscapes, friends, really everything. So photography was not a separate form of art for me then but way of capturing memory of my reality. For example I had a long period when I was very interested in body art. It started to making patterns on the papers, back side of copybooks, later on patterns creep in from papers to my palms and arms and or thighs. (What you comfortably can reach with pen). I was doing body art with everything ink-pen, markers, iodine, other antiseptics, eye shadows, lipsticks later on with theater makeup set, and everywhere city, camping trips, sports camp..
So I literally “apply” my vision on me and to other. When I became member of local photo club I model more just because I am female as I was helping my other photographer friends. But I really became interested in modelling when my camera broke and I was in kind of zone when you don’t want to buy the same camera, but don’t have money on much better one. In one year I made more than 20 shoots. It taught me a lot about modelling, photography, people and life, it brought me a lot of joy, excitements and disappointments. I never forget this year when only way I could express myself artistically it actually being a model. I don’t believe you have to always use proper tools, the motivation and desire is more important. I think important things was I wanted to create something which did not exist before.
Artienne: What is your greatest success when it comes to modelling? Do you think the modeling is dangerous for women? Is it hard work for you?
What is your secret to look fresh and beautiful?
Maria: My greatest success as model were find another photographer/model ladies Gemma and Lillian. We had many photo session when in one day we were shooting each other. It show that the vision is everything. You can shoot in the same place, in the same costume, but person who holding camera and moving on front of camera create new reality every time.
Modelling definitely provide dangers to women. Anyone who considering modelling should consider the risks and take all necessary precausions. I myself were lucky and did not have any really bad cases, but even despite taking all precautions I have a few unpleasant encountering. As well models have to grow very thick skin and be confident as you may see very unflattering picture of yourself.
“Taste the Winter” Winter Fairytale series. Cold and Blue calling in winter short days we all want to add some sparkling beautiful magic to our lives.
Artienne: You are fascinated by fairy tales, Pre-Raphaelian paintings, Gothic, Victorian, heathens (Wicca) and nature themes. Why this kind of influences? Are you also inspired by musicians playing this kind of music or poem written by heathen souls?
Maria: I think it all come to root that I always loved imaginary worlds. As kid I read tremendous amount of fairy tales, not just fairy tales your mother would tell you, but go to school and find all possible fairy tales, Africans, Persians, Japanese, Nordic. As soon as I grow up enough to have interest in science fiction I gorge myself in reading that sometime a few books at the time. My parents have huge library of science fictions and classical literature, I could just stretch my arm and chose new reality for a few days. Later on I start reading a lot of mythology and fantasy. I not just liking these genres I like to investigate it, like read myths and fairy tales from different cultures and different periods to see how humanity change and its vision to imaginary things change with it. Morality, geopolitics, believes, aesthetics are all stored in myths and fairy tales as much as in scientific papers and just waiting for us to be explore, to be descripted.
Range of my styles are dictated I love to find beauty and love it to be magical so nature, fairy tale and pre-raphaelite is a core. I do venture in other styles like Victorian and Gothic as I love the looks but as well it is much easy to hold on on right costumes. I am not limited to that if I could have kimono, mermaid or native American costume or Egyptian queen outfit I would create pictures out of it too. I am actually looking for it right now. I guess I have very eclectic taste as well I don’t feel I am binded to some time frame or place in human history. I want to explore it all, but they way too much to explore in one human life time. So I start with the esthetical pleasing to me and more easy to obtain.
Artienne: “My goal is find a speak of magic in every woman and turn it to bonfire to light a beautiful vessel of human body from within. “
Can you find the magic in every human being?
Watching your pictures I noticed that your main models are mostly women? Why?
Maria: I do believe there is magic in every human, it just too many of of us get use to shot it down along with imagination and daring to dreams. Yes, I do mostly photographed woman. Apart of believing the female beauty should be celebrated as it such temporary and fragile things, and I want to empower women by showing them how beautiful they are there is a lot of personal in it. In my life I mostly live and work amongst men. I grow up as tom-boy wearing jeans and snickers, liking chess, shooting and preferring Lego to dolls. I am software engineer, I embrace logic and science as well, however women are quite rare in engineering. So whole day I spend with men, I married and have son as well so I spend my evenings with men too 🙂 I even got female cat to keep some balance in life. As well I wear a lot of skirt to remind me who I am. so photographing women is my way to connecting to female side of life more. May be my time to play dolls finally come to me ? I started collecting pretty dolls for my project couples of years ago.
“Last autumn bloom” from “Autumn fairytales”
Artienne: Can you tell us more about the genesis of name “Medusa Gorgona”? Why did you choose this name? What is special about “Greek Medusa”?
Maria: The name of my page was my nick name in photography for a long time, started as combination of my love to myth with a joke.
Apart just I love myths about Medusa and love symbols of snakes, I have certain compassion to the personage as she was punished for being beautiful and turned to a monster which is quite often scenario happening in Greek myths as it expressed believes of very patriarchal society. Joke related some of my friend commented once I looked at someone who was trying to chat me like I wanted to turn them to stone like Medusa. However I plan to stop using these name, and proceed with Maria Mirage as it more described who I am and what I do. I create beautiful mirages.
Harvest fairy” from “Autumn fairytale” series,
Artienne: Your wardrobe is full of beautiful dresses, crowns, headpieces, nails, dolls etc. How looks like the process of creating such a costume? Are you fashion designer? What props are you taking to your garden for photo session? Where you are buying all these things like: chalices, bowls, cups, artificial leaves and flowers? Did you visit special shops and car-boots?
Maria: I wish I could be fashion designer, but I am not good in drawing so I never proceed to study design or fashion. However I have feel for beautiful things. Most part of my dresses and props were bought by me in all kind of places: car boots, charity shops, e-bay. I love to think I give them new beautiful life. I always adore big headpieces and flower crowns and I though “Oh you needed to be craftsman and an artist to create it” but step by step I overcome my fear, and start just putting things together with wire, glue gun, pins, by stitching. As I am trading in illusions my dresses or headpieces do not have to be fully real. They have to only look real in a moment of shoot. I literally assemble the outfit sometime using different parts, adding fabrics, belts, etc.
Artienne: If Photography is an art of illusion so how to bring dream to reality?
Any tips, advice for photographers or models?
Maria: Dream big, go to your dream step by step, repeat and try again, never give up no matter what people say or how long it take you.
“Unlock autumn dream sadness” from “Autumn
Artienne: How it looks process of your post-work? When I watch some of your photos like: Dark and Goth Vampires,”Raven Mistress” “The melancholy of Arwen” , I noticed that you were using very strong colors.Do you like a strong contrast?
Maria: I think there are three main thing I do in post processing to move it closer to painting.
– Intensify main color and darken/discolored the edges of picture
– Add more light, contrast, sharpen to main object to emphasize it
– Apply textures
Artienne: You cooperate with many artists, models and photographers. What did you learn from others?
Maria: Let go of your ego, do not judge people before you work with them. I met brilliant but an confident people and overconfident people who was just full of themselves and complain about other endlessly.
Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Model Simone Clare Stocks
Studio & Costume Medusa’s Garden Studio
Wig Gothic Lolita Wigs
Artienne: Once you have written about photo-sessions underwater. Did you realize your dream? What would you like to achieve future? What are your dreams?
Maria: Not yet – still working on it. I want it so much it make my heart beat faster right now when I even think of it. I love floating long dresses, long hair, contrast of flesh with fabrics.. For me just being underwater already magical as it change colors, movements, it play with our sense of gravity. There are so many ideas I want to do ! But I needed to be patient.
Tempting beautiful “Raven Mistress” from Halloween inspired series. Magical powers embodied in enticing daughter of the night.
Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Model Natasha Felix
MUA Anna Fullbrook – Makeup Artist
Behind the scene video Fudge Tiger
Assistance & Video Nataliya Ilieva
Wig Gothic Lolita Wigs
Studio & Costumes Medusa’s Garden Studio