Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Zemmit

Zemmit
Acrylic on gesso panel
70cm x 100cm
June 2019

My latest work is a larger version of my recent Zemit, and titled Zemmit.

It gave me an opportunity to develop the ideas in Zemit further and to particularly focus on Set in better detail.

Zemmit detail: the god Set shows the hierophant the hieroglyphic text suspended in the air


I have rendered the sky and desert in ways that echo earlier works The Netjeru In New York City (2016) and Montu Mountain (2017).

All of the information about the hieroglyphs and the original genesis of the work can be found in a previous blog post on the original Zemit here.


Utterance 570 from the pyramid of King Meryenre, Dynasty 6, Old Kingdom 


Zemmit is 70cm x 100cm and painted in acrylics on a gesso panel.



Sunday, 24 March 2019

Zemit

Zemit
Acrylic on pine board
16" x 20"
March 2019

My latest painting features Utterance 570 from the Pyramid Texts of King Merynra suspended in a desert like landscape near a monument.

Set - Who is referred to in His name of Setesh in the text - is showing the newly arrived initiate the text. The initiate has arrived through the gateway that the monument is.

The desert landscape is a numinous place that is a location between our earthly realm and the Duat. The Zemit (also spelled Zemmit and perhaps Semyt) is a realm governed by Set.

I first came across Utterance 570 in The Ancient Egyptian Day Book by Tamara Siuda. It instantly seized me as being an exceptional and magickal verse.

My friend and fellow artist iconographer Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa then located and rendered the phrase in the first person pronoun for me, and helped with much of the initial part of the process, including determining certain glyph anomalies in the original text as well as discussing with me the artistic rendering that I want I wanted to achieve with the work.

This painting is the first of many where Utterance 570 is featured.

The transliteration reads:

I have escaped my day of death 
Just as Setesh has escaped His day of death

I have escaped my half months of death
Just as Setesh has escaped His half months of death

I have escaped my months of death
Just as Setesh has escaped His months of death

I have escaped my year of death
Just as Setesh has escaped His year of death

Uttterance 570
Lines 1453a - 1453h

Pyramid Of King MeryenRa
Dynasty 6, Old Kingdom

My original render of U570



Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Setken cartouche gift

My sister Ann Chris wanted my cartouche logo as a decorative element for her home.

I had made a previous version with off cuts from the stencils I had made by Eat Sleep Spray Repeat (you can see how I used these to promote my exhibition last year below) but she didn't like those colours.

I went back to ESSR and got a new stencil and proceeded to make it in the colours that she requested, using the Blackest Black Version 2.0 by Culture Hustle as the background.

Was happy with the way it turned out. The black really gave it a different dimension which is why I have included the video.

Happy New Year everyone!

The original version I have in my Shrine Room which I made earlier last year


Above and below are how I used the original stencils to promote NeoPharaonic outside the art gallery




Version for Ann Chris for Xmas




In situ in Ann Chris' lovely home



Sunday, 4 November 2018

New Paintings

I have completed some new paintings in the past few weeks.

City Of Grief
City Of Grief
Acrylic on gessoed wood panel frame
40cm x 50cm
October 2018


Magickal 142
Magickal 142
Acrylic, 23 carat gold leaf, genuine platinum on canvas
40" x 60"
October 2018


Enter this place through my painting
Magickal 142
Anpu and Set with moon and sun at the gate
Either side the stelae tell the story of my soul (parts) and destiny

Oh Beautiful Lord Bes
Great Dwarf, how jubilant you are in this place
And jubilant I am, in this place where Geb rests in the hedges
And Set soars in a tree
And where Divine Nut embraces with her four pillars
Even as the 4 bulls are the pillars of protection of this place
Dua Ka Desher
Dua Mer Wer
Dua Ba Akh
Dua Hap

As my ba is nourished by the Gracious Creator Lord Ptah
So does the Holy Serpent unite and untie all of my soul
So does Sekhmet heal my body
And so do Wepwaet, Auset and NebetHt prevail

As Heru hovers so too do I, outside of time to view this place
This Magickal 142,
This birthplace of awakening.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

My interview on the Profane Egyptologist podcast


I am fortunate to have been included amongst the first guests to be featured on the newly launched Profane Egyptologist podcast.

The interview has been broadcast in 2 parts with Part 1 being a background to my artistic career, and Part 2 discussing the art in depth including specific paintings.

I love the insightful questions that Paul asked, and subsequently it has allowed me to deeply reflect on the genesis of my painting career and the elements that have brought it about. I really should have kept my answers briefer to allow him to ask more interesting stuff! I can see this podcast really taking off.

Please go to this page to see the show notes Paul has included that cover the topics we discuss. Hilariously he has put a link in there because of my mentioning that my first (and recent!) experience in snow included absolutely freezing balls as I had not brought appropriate clothing with me for a New York winter. (It was pointed out to me afterwards that the combination of underwear fabric and the jeans I was wearing created a sensation that made me feel like I had pissed myself all the time; wandering around the icebox that was New York at that time and being paranoid about having a wet patch on my crotch was not much fun I assure you).

Paul's book features one of my paintings on the cover and it is an excellent read. You can get it here.



Sunday, 17 June 2018

Dazzled By The Mirror Of Heaven

Dazzled By The Mirror Of Heaven
Acrylic on linen
48" x 36"
June 2018

This painting is the 6th in my The Netjeru In America series. The sketch for the painting is 3 years old, and was conceived in the United States during my sojourn there for the project much discussed in this blog of looking at the manifestation of Netjer and Kemeticism in that country today.


The painting has been a long time coming and is in my opinion one of the most powerful in the series to date. Conceived in the Boston Museum Of Fine Arts, problems relating to snow during my visit meant that I stayed at the venue longer than I had planned, and I came across a sculpture in the Art Of The Americas wing that inspired this work.

The actual sculpture of Angel Of The Resurrection in Pennsylvania Station by Walker Hancock
The sculpture is called Angel of the Resurrection and portrays Michael the Archangel lifting up a dead soldier out of the "flames of war."  It is a one third in scale model of the Pennsylvania Railroad World War II Memorial (pictured above) which is a monument on the main concourse of 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The work was designed and created by sculptor Walker Hancock (1901-1998). Hancock made wonderful sculptures of the male physique and angelic / deity figures that my painting tips a hat to.
The "model" of the actual Hancock piece which I saw in Boston MFA
Photo: Wikipedia
The actual sketch for Dazzled was made in the last leg of my trip in San Jose, where on an unseasonably warm day for that time of the year I sat by the poolside and created the sketch. It was on this leg of my visit that I went to Pantheacon and The Rosicrucian Museum. It was a magickal time. I had just met Kemetic iconographer Ptahmassu in West Wendover, and now got to meet Rev. Tamara Siuda (who did an excellent presentation at Pantheocon) and the late Richard Reidy (who also did a wonderful presentation along with HiC Luttmers). I met other members of the Kemetic Temple Of San Jose and San Francisco and participated in my first Kemetic ritual, honouring the Divine Lady Bast.

The hieroglyphs
I later commissioned Tamara to render the Pyramid text passage for me specifically for this work. She changed the context of the piece so “this Pepi” was removed and “I” was inserted.


 The text is my Mission Statement on that page of my website.

The doors of the basin of the starry sky are thrown open to me           
And I go through them.
My leopard skin is on me
And my sceptre is in my hand.

The Pyramid Texts (modified)
Pyramid of King Pepi I
Old Kingdom (6th Dynasty) circa 2332 – 2287 BC  

I have chosen this excerpt from the Pyramid texts as my artist statement because it speaks depths about what I do and am as an artist. It resonates with me in a way that I will attempt to explain. I first became aware of this passage in The Lion Path.

The doors of the basin of the starry sky are thrown open to me
My access to the other realms is not recent, but as I have grown to understand it, and especially as my craft as an artist unfolds, I am able to make better sense of it. My paintings reflect this process, and the process enhances the paintings.

The starry realms are the Duat but include other realms too. My exploration in Soul Anatomy suggests that the different elements of the soul that we possess may interact with these realms in ways particular to that body / element, and I suspect grant access to same. How sharply the senses of any particular body are honed governs the level of perception in and of those realms. The goddess Nut Herself is these realms.

And I go through them
Sometimes consciously, sometimes otherwise. My recollections of these realms vary from stark and actual to dreamlike and subtle. I think my attraction to and use of black lining in my art is my attempt to concretize and capture these feelings and notions.
My journeys usually occur in sleep, meditation, the float pod and when I have enhanced my olfactory sense with certain essential oils.

My leopard skin is on me
The leopard skin is the mantle of the shaman. I wonder if what we refer to as the Ancient Egyptian priesthood was actually a society or office of shamans? Shamanism  has been the subject of many books and films. The freedom of the wild that we equate shamanism with calls us in a way religion can’t.
The skin of the leopard is supposedly meant to represent the stars of said starry sky. Whether or not this is true, there is something about leopard print that enhances the shamanic process. Do you notice the abundance of leopard print wearing in our culture? Why does it “work” on some but not others? In ritual there is a difference noticeable when wearing and not wearing leopard print.

And my sceptre is in my hand
Another mantle of the shamanic / priest office, and another device that seems in and of itself to act as a key and opener into the dimensions beyond this one. The Ancients possessed a number of ritual staffs, and I assume that they all had a different function. The uas sceptre seems to be the most common one when viewing images of the Netjeru from the ancient past. The figure in my painting holds a uas sceptre.


 3 types of blue
I have used two types of cerulean blue in the work. One on the skin figure held by Set, and the other surrounding the glyphs that form part of the wall decoration. 
Various metallics form the top half of the painting whilst the rest has a deep rose madder emphasis. The 3 glyphs chosen for the wall: akh, ka and sekhem have esoteric significance.
The 3rd blue is a new Pthalo Light colour from Golden Paints which I have also been using on another soon to be completed work. This colour is the tattoos that adorn the body of the blue figure, and where a god or goddess is represented tattooed is “beloved of” that deity. The deities featured in the tattoos are Set, Heru, Mehen, Nehebukau, Anpu, Wepwawet, Auset, NebetHt, Wadjet and Nekhbet.


The magickal and mystical story that the painting tells I will leave for the beholder to contemplate.



Monday, 30 April 2018

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Of Quantum Light


In my artwork I incorporate Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. As this has been my practice for a few years now, my curiosity around the medu (the name the ancients used for what we call hieroglyphs) has increased. 

I have taken some online courses to better my understanding of same. My interest is professional in that it applies to my art, but amateur as far as being unable to transliterate or translate glyphs (where I have incorporated hieroglyphic phrases and words into my art I commission professional Egyptologists to do so).

During a recent meditation session, the hieroglyph that Egyptology designates through Gardiner’s Sign List as X8 appeared. 

Hieroglyph X8 "di"


The sign represents the word “give” and is thought to show a conical loaf of bread. In the meditation it came through that a more accurate meaning is “to imbue”.

I was “given” this glyph as “a gift” with the message that the sign is in fact a representation of “light”. At first I was not surprised as there has been an explanation of this glyph being a “stylized flame”. But surely the Ancient’s would have rounded the sides of the triangle shape if this were the case?

I decided to ask a brainy quantum mechanics-oriented colleague, Frank Pollio, this question: “What would a mathematical or geometrical representation of light look like based on our current scientific understanding?” I wanted to see if this glyph showed up somehow.

Surprisingly, my colleague sent me this article from Cosmos Magazine in 2016 by Melbourne based journo Cathal O’Connell which featured the image below:

Photo credit: FUW from Cosmos Magazine - article cited above

It is a reconstruction of a raw image of light particles uncovered by a Polish team from the University Of Warsaw.

Taking just one of the 4 triangles it is not hard to see that the hieroglyph X8 does relate. Why the Ancients elongated the triangle tip I don’t know, but perhaps this will be revealed in time.

What is more curious for me was that the image of the four triangles facing in toward each other bares similarity to another glyph also, and it too relates to light! 

It is the glyph designated as Q7 which is thought to be a lamp and represents the words for flame, illumination and heat. Curiously, in the hieroglyphic representation the tip is elongated and in this case has a trailing tail.

Hieroglyph Q7 "Khet"

I find these instances of correlation fascinating. I have theories about other glyphs too, but the ones listed here are the ones that seem to have back up from science. 

Thanks go to Cathal O'Connell for his article and Frank Pollio for his research, as well as Dr. Charles Muses.