The Harpy, a monstrous woman-bird hybrid hailing from Greek mythology, was a symbol of death and pollution. Like many other female monsters, she represented a fear of anything unknown and dangerous in nature where Man had no control of.
She used to be something different, though. In ancient times, different peoples worshipped bird-goddesses that represented birth and life as well as death and rebirth. It is thought that with the arrival of large-scale agriculture, society became more patriarchal and the bird-woman was banished to the Underworld.
But not only the bird-goddesses changed, humankind changed too: we psychologically distanced ourselves from the natural world. Instead of living in collaboration with nature, we took the reins ourselves and sought control over our food production and living space.
In HARPYA, I strived to bring back the life-giving aspects of the harpy through character design for video games. Using Jung’s female psychological archetypes as a guide, I created seven new harpies being protectors of nature, each embodying a different aspect of our relationship with nature.