Sanctuary, Self Esteem and Laura Marling – Online Talk by MEDUSA

In this pre-recorded talk, Eden Szymura and Emily Walters explore the theme of sanctuary within the music of artists Self Esteem and Laura Marling, and reflect on how it could be applied to the Student Art Prize.

“When we reveal ourselves to our partner and find that this brings healing rather than harm, we make an important discovery—that intimate relationships can provide a sanctuary from the world of facades, a sacred space where we can be ourselves, as we are. . . . This kind of unmasking—speaking our truth, sharing our inner struggles, and revealing our raw edges—is sacred activity, which allows two souls to meet and touch more deeply.”

Bell Hooks, All About Love: New Visions 

“I’ve always been interested in the feminine relationship to creativity, and why in a kind of societal sense, it might have been inhibited over time. And I think traumatic experience answers a lot of those questions, because I think it takes a long time to get back to a space that’s very good for writing or creativity in any kind way. You feel safe enough to be vulnerable.”

Laura Marling

“All my upcoming work is exploring how complicated it is to just be a human. I’m wonderful and I’m terrible. I hurt people and people hurt me. I feel everything and nothing.” 

Self Esteem


Laura Marling “Suite: Take the Night Off, I Was an Eagle, You Know, Breath” on Spinning On Air

Laura Marling – Soothing

Laura Marling – Wild Fire live at the Royal Albert Hall (BBC Proms 2020)

Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter (Official Audio)

Laura Marling – Only The Strong (Official Audio)

Laura Marling – Alexandra (Official Audio)

Laura Marling – Strange Girl (Official Audio)

I Speak Because I Can

Self Esteem – Prioritise Pleasure

Self Esteem – I’m Fine (from the set of Prima Facie)

Self Esteem – I Do This All The Time (Official Video)


Laura Marling

Song Exploder Podcast

Reversal of the Muse Podcast

Self Esteem

Talk Art Podcast

How To Fail Podcast

“Trojan Horse” NME interview

Meadowhall Shopping Centre outfit

Boots Advantage Card outfit

97% tie pin outfit


Led by Emily Walters and Eden Szymura, MEDUSA is a London-based arts collective catalysing conversation on feminism and connection as a means to practise radical care. Striving to reimagine through writing, curation and participatory practices, the pair critically examine culture surrounding the female experience. Their work unpicks mythmaking, psychosomatic interactions, and semiotics, drawing on Medusa as a figurehead for reclamation and rebirth.

Follow MEDUSA: / @medusacreatives on Instagram and Twitter