Irish artist Dorothy Cross came to widespread acclaim when she completed a series of works featuring cow skins and udders. Her practice is characterised by her use of diverse media and breadth of subject matter. Through her work she has explored notions of history and philosophy, and the complicated interaction between genders. She exhibits regularly in solo and group shows, and in 1993 she was the nominated representative for Ireland in the prestigious Venice Biennale.
In 2000 artist Cross and her scientist brother Professor Tom Cross successfully sought funding to pursue investigations focusing on the aesthetic, anthropological and scientific aspects of jellyfish. Medusae is the result of this collaboration and it is one of a series of video based works by Dorothy Cross that combines the mythology of Irish amateur naturalist Maude Delap with present day scientific research.
Medusae is also the Latin term for jellyfish. Drawing on both poetic and literal interpretations of the theme, Medusae weaves documentary style narratives and explicit demonstrations of the swimming techniques of the jellyfish with vignettes referencing the imagined and recorded aspects of the life of Delap. Medusae explores the notions of mystery and the relationships between art and science, the known and the unknown, the imagined and the real.