Friday, 20 March 2015


Yesterday a new milestone in my painting career was reached: I had 5 of my paintings professionally photographed.

The difference this makes to how they are presented on the internet (which is currently my primary means of showing my work) is incredible.

This is the first step in getting all of my work professionally photographed for 2 upcoming exhibitions: the first one, which I am hoping to have in November or December this year here in Melbourne, and the second next year or thereabouts in the United States with Ptahmassu Nofra-Ua'a.

"The Ark Of Millions" is the first to be (re)featured. The brilliance of the colours is much more apparent, even though the gold boat and shrine can not convey the metallic paint as well as in real life. The original post at time of completing the work last year can be found here.

I will post one each of the 5 per week so you can see for yourselves, and by that time my latest work "Material Immortality" should be ready. I ask that you link back to this page when sharing the photos which you are most welcome to do.

Thanks to Christopher Sanders Photography for his great efforts.

The Ark Of Millions
48" x 72"
Acrylic on canvas

Monday, 16 March 2015

Eye Of The Bennu

I came across this wonderful film made with shadow puppets and papyrus screens before I left for my trip to the US. I find "Eye Of The Bennu" by Solar Falcon Productions delightful, and wanted to meet the film maker and creator Paul Madariaga when I was in LA - changes to my schedule prevented that happening however.

The film is a great example of Kemeticism manifesting today, and I would have loved to have discussed this in depth with the creator. The story is set in an Ancient Egyptian fantasy world and uses Kemetic themes and concepts to tell a story essentially about overthrowing the forces of Apep. The story could come from one of the ancient manuscripts, except that this version of Luxor comes complete with a monorail (I love that!)

Described as "a classic heroes journey filmed in the style of shadow puppetry behind papyrus" it tells the story of the jackal Aketnu who is caught up in the kingdom's struggle to manifest the Neter Ra through the pharaoh, before their enemies - the Hyksos - can do the same with the evil serpent Apep.

The papyrus background is used effectively as a screen for the shadow puppets to present on, as well as being a scroll with  hieroglyphs atop and at the sides as the story unfolds.

There are wonderful and inspiring images that turned me on as an artist - such as the Set like figures, winged Set figures (amongst others) and a beautiful colorful Khepera.

The film is the winner of Best Action Film and Best Sound Design at the 2013 PollyGrind Film Festival in Las Vegas, NV. You can download or rent a copy by following this link. The video above is a trailer of the film.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Wendover: A Doorway To My Heart

The Bonneville salt flats in Utah; Ptahmassu can be seen in foreground

As part of my recent trip to the United States I visited Ptahmassu and his partner  in the north western corner of Nevada on the Utah border. The town is called Wendover, and the landscape there is breathtaking to the point that words really can not do it justice.

Perhaps my paintings will then. 3 have been inspred by this place, and the fire to produce them is raging inside me.

I have not yet written about my trip to the US in great detail, and do not know if I will, as the paintings that are being produced from that trip will speak volumes. However, Wendover was so magickal, and Ptahmassu has captured that magick in his latest poem so succinctly, that I wanted to share it here. I could not write better about that place myself and I will do my best to convey this in the aforementioned forthcoming paintings.

A Doorway To My Heart

by Ptahmassu Nofra-U'aa
Natural cave-like formations in West Wendover, Nevada/ Photo by the author

Alone in a desert land
Not abandoned
Not left for dead
Yet finding solitude
In a barren land

Tucked high in the bosom
Of ruddy cliffs
Piercing the flank
Of a turquoise sky
The sky drifts by
My eyes
Drinking, drinking
Drinking deeply
Of the turquoise fountain
Flowing above my head

Security waits
Even in lonely valleys
Where rams rut
And bleached bones
Tell a tale of life's fragile struggle

I find a purpose
For life to continue
Far outside the temporary veil
Of mortal existence

This is a doorway to my heart
Worn into the ancient rock
Where my ancient memories
Clad in the ages
Of lives lived before
This body came into
My mother's womb

My real mother is above
Stretched out in Her turquoise body
Kissed by the shards of sharp sunlight
Tumbling down
Over the empty landscape

There is a doorway to my heart
Where one finds a portal
Into the spectral world
A ladder to heaven
The doors of the sky
Sheltered by monoliths
Raising the hot earth
Up and into the etheric vastness

You cannot help
But make pilgrimage here
To the place where my heart
Has hallowed a shrine
To the near-forgotten Gods
But Their voices linger
Here where the one gives way
To the Ones who went before him
Their spirit lights
Calling down lightning
Given from a bare sky

Heaven calls from above
Earth makes love to my feet
And open up
Before me
At the doorway to my heart

I leave behind
All I thought I knew
And give way to
The company of spirits
Who, in silence, bestow
The Wisdom of millions of years

My real father is below
My feet firm planted
In his sacral history
His battles
His deaths
His resurrection
I gather up his bones
And call him to my counsel
At the doorway to my heart
Where the Ancestors
Make quiet pilgrimage
To speak without language
To initiate without action

Gratefully I receive
The spectral lights
Emerging from darkness
Where every seed grows
Before it flourishes
In the Light

And I too came from darkness
Into the world of light
From between my sacred mother's thighs
Like the sun
In the rosy mantle
Of the dawn sky 
Renewed beyond death

If you travel here
To meet me
You must give up
All that you thought you knew
To enter the sacred portal
Burrowed deep
In the desert shrine
Where the Ancestors
To make communion
With their kin

Hear the drum
The awesome heights
Of my heart
Secreted in the ruddy mountains
Where a trail of light
Moves like quicksilver
Through a lens of spirit
Cutting through flesh

This is where I meet you
This is where
You pick up the pieces
And love again
This is where
We begin again
Here at the doorway to my heart

Ptahmassu's poetry blog is here.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Trip to Ballarat Art Gallery Part 1

I took a trip to Ballarat (a city located 1.5 hours outside of Melbourne) a week before my recent trip to the United States to catch the last day of an exhibition called "Eikon: Icons of The Orthodox Christian World".

I wanted to document it here so that it did not get lost amongst the enormity that my US trip became. Besides providing much inspiration for future work, I was surprised to find other points of inspiration within the vastness of this rather spectacular gallery, one item of which is the + 1 of the 8 + 1 paintings that will form my Netjeru In America series (revealed in Part 2 of this blog).

Eikon: Icons Of The Orthodox Christian World
The practice of creating and maintaining sacred images as a means of communing with the divine is of course of great interest to me.

This exhibition featured the Greek and Russian Orthodox Christian icons from around the 9th to around the 18th century. I am particularly interested in identifying relationships between this work and that of Ancient Egypt, and that relationship does exist.

Some of the icons were beautiful, but I found many to be sombre and at times depressing.  

I display below some of the main points from the exhibition entrance plaque (and invite the reader to consider in relation to my own artworks):

  • the primary function of icons is devotional
  • they are governed by strict artistic conventions 
  • they must be 2 dimensional
  • the personages depicted must be readily identifiable
  • icons are not intended to reflect the personality of the artist "writing" them
  • they do not have to be visually pleasing
  • they do not have to introduce new concepts
  • viewers who accept these images on the images own terms will be moved by their spiritual power

I feature below four of the paintings that struck chords for me:

"The Fiery Ascent of Elijah", Russia, 17th century
Elijah is one of 3 Christian figures reported to have have escaped death, and this fascinates me more than words can convey; this icon speaks to me on a level hard to articulate.

"Mother of God Of the Burning Bush", Russia, circa 1800
An icon revealing the incarnation of Jesus, with references to Moses and the Burning Bush.

"The Dormition Of The Mother Of God", Northern Greece, 16th Century
Mary the mother of Jesus was one of the 3 that I mentioned above who in Christian lore did not die; this icon tells us that she "went to sleep", different to the Catholic story I was brought up with where she ascended (celebrated as The Assumption), but still claiming she did not die. I am particularly fascinated by the "six winged seriph" centre top, and wonder if this is in fact representative of Mary's soul anatomy beginning a transformation process? Her akh perhaps?

"The Transfiguration", Russia, 17th Century
I have considered this icon before thanks to the work and research of William Henry; does this image represent the complex knowledge of soul antomy as understood in Ancient Egypt, rendered in a work that we can comprehend?

I was also impressed by the way that this exhibition was curated. Rather than subject these images to the standard white walls of so many exhibits, the icons were displayed across rooms each with a colour that enhanced the experience of viewing. The lighting of same also showed some consideration in creating a place for contemplation.