Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Black Painting

The Black Painting
It was a strange night, that night early November 2010. My last night in Rome. The train ride back from Silento with my symposium colleagues; Rob arguing with the taxi driver to get a receipt; the odd little hotel where I bunked in last minute – there was a strike in Pompeii and a likelihood that trains would not run the next morning prompting me to leave our symposium hotel earlier so that I would not miss my flight to Cairo the next day.

But why were these images floating around in my meditation, these last days as I was finishing “The Black Painting”?

Because that night was the end of a great cycle in my life where I would slumber no longer. Indeed, the next day, when I went to Egypt for the first time in this physical embodiment, something new began. An awakening.

The Black Painting - Sphinx detail

The original sketch for “The Black Painting” was done on an aeroplane on the way back from Bangkok last year. Indeed in Thailand I had undergone an initiation of sorts largely evoked by reading from “Daily lives of the Egyptian Gods” by Dimitry Meeks. (I wrote about this here).

Original sketch for The Black Painting
It was in the middle of the night, and I distinctly remember a very bright star being visible outside the aircraft each time I looked outside. I had not intended to make the sketch a painting – the impetus to execute it on canvas came in a meditation earlier this year. The sketch was realized on 21st July, 2012 - the painting version was completed a year and two days later!

“The Black Painting” is 48” x 60” and another Set inspired painting. It features a hieroglyphic translation of the poem that is visible in the original sketch. Again, I commissioned Tamara Siuda to come up with these for me. (She has also done so for "Anger" and "Winged Set").

Let the Seven Stars
Pump the fluid of Being
Into your new grown wings
That you may soar,
Divine creature 
That you were born
To become

The photo does not do the piece justice – I have used interference and iridescent colours which make this painting commanding to stand in front of. Initially, the painting was going to be almost monochromatic save for the jewelry worn by Set (this was always going to be electrum and precious stones coloured), and this evolved as the piece developed.

The Khaibit makes another appearance in this painting (also featured in “Anger”).

The piece was completed during the (Aquarius) full moon of July and when Cancer was transitioning into Leo. It heralds a new phase for me, as events in my life unfold further to promote greater spiritual understandings.

Friday, 19 July 2013

A Tale Of Three Artists Part 3: Ptahmassu Nofra-U'aa

"The Father Ra" detail by Ptahmassu Nofra U'aa

I found Ptahmassu’s “Icons Of Kemet” website during one of my regular web crawls looking for Kemetic imagery and art. I was so overcome by his beautiful work “The Father Ra” that I knew that I had to contact him. Just to say “hello”. Just to introduce myself. To let him know that I saw his art. I only knew that I needed to connect.

What has transpired since then has been a wonderful interaction over the web that is anchored in Kemeticism but has grown to encompass a flourishing friendship.

Ptahmassu is High Priest of the Temple Of Ptah in Nevada and lives a life dedicated to Netjer. This is very evident when considering his work. As I have come to know him over the last few months I have learned that his understanding of Kemeticism is vast: not only has he read and researched and studied all manner of Egyptological tomes he has also studied comparative religions and is well placed for rich discussion in both spheres.

"Manu" uncompleted work by Ptahmassu Nofra U'aa; this is not only a divine work but a damn horny one too!

A recent interaction resulted in Ptahmassu writing this:

My feeling is that Kemet and Kemeticism are almost as much a frame of mind as they are a physical place. On the level of Spirit, Kemet is the Eternal embodiment of the Netjer, manifest in the sacred images, scents, gestures and words of the Ancients. Our task is to imbue these ancient treasures of the Netjer with a new life, to continue to pass these down to those who are starving for at-one-ment with the Netjeru.

Every day, we have the opportunity to engage in a thread of sacred creation that in its linear, outward manifestation is at least 4,000 years old, and I believe MUCH OLDER. The ancient texts, prayers and rites are not just flies stuck in amber on temple and tomb walls, but are the actual fabric of a technology of the Spirit through which humankind has direct access to Netjer. THAT is the true and Kemetic meaning of "religion". When we recite these prayers today, and partake of the offerings and ritual gestures of the Ancients, we and they are linked, and we enter immediately into the Presences of the Netjeru.

When we carve or paint or sculpt the Sacred forms and the Meduw (or hieroglyphs), we are "turning on" the gears of a most ancient technology of the Spirit, and permitting access directly to the Gods. We are partaking of "Sacred Time", and engaging in immortality. This, then, is our focus through our Kemetic art and practice. To be Kemetic means we LIVE KEMET here and now....It means we LIVE WITH THE NETJERU in each and every moment of each and every day.

Some of the works that Ptahmassu has allowed me to depict here are unfinished – because of the painstaking methods that he employs to create such wonderful icons and the precision that the gold leafing and precious stones require, it takes some time to execute.

"Auset - Great Of enchantments" unfinished work, detail; it would take too long to describe how this inspires me  . . . .   
Just as in ancient times in Kemet, Ptahmassu’s work can not be separated from the Divine Beings that it represents. Ptahmassu’s daily schedule includes traditional temple ritual – this I believe is reflected in the work that he produces.

Being able to connect with other artists depicting Netjer has been an incredible boost to my own process. In the case of Ptahmassu, our correspondences have been particularly inspiring: a work is developing as a result of my interactions with him that I presently can only contemplate – so much richness . . . how to execute?

Please visit his website so that you can own something created at the hands of this astonishing talent.

And so concludes my tale of three artists producing Kemetic works for our times. Writing these posts has been amongst my happiest blogging moments, and I hope that my readers have sensed this in the posts themselves.

"The Father Ra" by Ptahmassu Nofra U'aa; are there words to express the magnificence of this? It is almost too much to bear looking at!!!!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

A Tale Of Three Artists Part 2: Zap Tripper

Set: Lord Of The Infernal Engines by Zap Tripper; without a doubt my fave piece of Zap's, and one that I think especially captures Lord Set's manifestation today
In my continuing exposition of Kemetic artists, I present the second of my feature artists: Zap Tripper, whom I have come to know through some Facebook groups.

Zap identifies himself as an emissary of evilution. His pursuits include all forms of creative manifestations and involve art, theatre, and doing the lead vocals for Triplexir. He has an unusual and enthusiastic zeal for Egyptology and is especially interested in Dynasty 12!

Sokar by Zap Tripper; I find this piece particularity inspiring and  provocative

I questioned Zap’s spelling of Evilution and here is his reply:

“Evilution seems an appropriate play on vocabulary....the truth in it is revealed in its own obvious mis-spelling. Evilution works because many who wave the banner of 'science over Superstition' still seem to cling somehow to old values which would deny Nature's inequities...She is dark and cruel in Her workings. Consequently, there exist lots of very educated folk out there who assume the attitude... that somehow Superstition has not been the catalyst for very much of what they falsely proclaim as 'evidence' of humanity's evolution”.

Ausar by Zap Tripper

The extraordinary fluro effect Zap gets with his work is outstanding, and I was curious to learn how he managed to produce such work - here is his reply:

“The day-glo effect is produced by blending as many shades and mediums as possible together while working under total ultra-violet light. All other light is blocked out and the appropriate music evocative of the work is also utilized....almost as if each work becomes a sort of ritual of its own. This has done great damage to my eyes...and it is hardly possible for me to even look at one of my own works anymore. Those folk out there who wish to take this approach should consider the consequences. But, that is how I manage to get the full effect”.

Set by Zap Tripper

I had no idea that this how Zap produces such marvellous pieces and can only wonder at the devotion he has in so doing! I asked him about his connection to deity when making his art:

“Whenever I render one of the many deific images in a particular working....it is an act of touching that particular 'archetype' in the most direct and intimate way. It is at once an act of worship and invocation...it is partaking in the role of 'Creator' as the god or goddess Themself does...through mine own experience and knowledge of it. For while these Forms all participate in the conscious self-creation of the Universe, I do the same....because I am but an outward manifestation of Their 'language'. Just as the deities are symbolic expressions of the cosmic phenomenon...storms, wars, seasons....even abstract concepts such as time...so I, too, have MY seasons, and my own wars and my own thunderstorms. And in the end , I will perish and rot....My bones will turn to dust.....but, the symbols I've created will speak to minds just waking up decades or perhaps centuries after I my flesh has become no more.

Thoth by Zap Tripper

I love the modern and totally unique take Zap’s work brings to portraying Netjer, whilst still very much respecting Their Forms. Zaps site is here.

Untitled by Zap Tripper

Saturday, 6 July 2013

A Tale Of Three Artists Part 1: Joel Clark

"Isis Worshiped By The Children Of The Stars" by Joel Clark

I begin the first of my 3 part series featuring Kemetic artists / artworks with Joel Clark.

The work of Joel Clark is an important expression of reawakened Kemetic forces emerging into the world today.

"The Lord Of Solar Revelations" by Joel Clark
With liberal uses of colour and unique representations of classical images and themes from antiquity, his paintings engage on a level that our busy minds of today are forced to stop to pay attention.

Joel’s artist statement from his website:

"My purpose as an artist has ever been to re-establish a past destined to be the future; to take something of the eternal and invisible and manifest it in the physical. 

The high civilization of Egypt with all its wisdom, precision and loving engagement of Universal Light awaits its inevitable return. 

Each of my works is an entirely metaphysical statement at odds with the illusions of our present zeitgeist. Not to be understood by the reasoning of the mind; my paintings remain mystical invocations summoning the divine voice within and above each child of Earth; feats of alchemy speaking silently to the infinite recesses within searching souls.

In a world bent on speed and sensations, time is of little consequence to my painting. Mine is a statement of an eternal contemplation and the intuitive certainties that dawn with perfect stillness of mind and body. 

Each composition is announced as a flash of light upon the inner eye. From there I work to manifest the energy of the vision, beginning with a pencil sketch, followed by the penciling of the actual work, inking of major lines, gold leafing of certain areas and finally the actual work of painting itself. Large works often require a year of devoted effort to complete".

"The Temple Within" by Joel Clark
The sheer detail of Joel’s work is breathtaking and truly a sight to behold. I doubt that images on the internet do his work justice at all, and I so look forward to seeing an exhibition of his material in person.

Joel lives in Canada and has been creating his artworks since 1980.

I encourage a visit to his website to explore all of his wonderful works.

"The Ba Ancient And Eternal" by Joel Clark