Friday, 19 February 2021

Upcoming documentary - Winged Set: Anatomy Of A Painting

Winged Set is one of my favorite works, and this documentary honors and examines its creation.

Winged Set
Acrylic on canvas
72" x 48"
January 2013

Production on this my latest documentary project began late last year when we filmed at Sorrento Back Beach to get footage for some of the artistic sequences that will be featured.

Sorrento Back Beach Sequences
I designed tattoos and had the painting reproduced as a tattoo for my back. We returned to the magickal location we got some good footage at for Hymn To The Soul Serpent (Hymn To Nehebukau) - Sorrento Back Beach.

Some of the footage will resemble the music video, but with different costumes and my body covered in the tatts the final product is distinctly different.

We started early again, but by the time we arrived on location at 7am people were already about with more arriving. It was going to be a great day weather-wise and I was aware that the quiet we had in the previous shoot would not repeat for this one.
Despite this, we got great footage that looked like we were the only ones there! Nothing was further from the truth, however, and the rock scenes I chose to do the g-string videos in still had gawkers despite our relative isolation there.

I took a plinth to use in some scenes and we had to transport it from the secluded rock area to the open beach along with a small suitcase of props, costumes, and our film gear. We had to leave the plinth at the base of the rocks whilst we carted the other gear away. The ocean had ideas for the plinth and attempted to sweep it away, but a lady stopped it until filmographer Takashi came to the rescue and retrieved it!

For the final ocean beach sequences, I went into the water but it was very violent. We were not very far from where Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt drowned in the 60’s.

We did another cloak sequence to replicate the one I now use on my website opening (and also in the Hymn to The Soul Serpent music video) and by this time people were flooding in. The Surf Lifesaving club had begun to set up for what was sure to be a busy day.

Onlookers were increasingly curious about the combination of tatts, the white Speedo, and my strange but amazing Oakley Over The Top sunglasses, which created quite an effect. A lady asked if the tatts were real or painted on for the shoot, so I guess there was a “truth” to them after all (I had wondered if they were real or fake looking and how that would affect the pieces we filmed).

The shoot took about 3 hours and we got some cool footage. I have included stills here but will keep some for other projects too likely.

I am looking to have Winged Set: Anatomy Of A Painting completed in the first half of 2021. You can look forward to some very special guests in the film, as well as the unveiling of a spectacular statue that has been created based on the painting.

Monday, 15 February 2021

Our Brave New Digital World: reciprocal appreciation in the online world

Our world has rapidly changed with the emergence of digital technology.

As an artist, my paintings on the one hand get to be spread across the wider network of the globe via the world wide web, and yet on the other hand become more invisible amongst the population of the world’s artists who are also trying to get their work in the spotlight.

I want my work to be seen.

This may or may not necessarily lead to selling art, but it increases awareness of what I am doing and will one day, eventually, bring to me to a point where I will no longer have to work a full-time job; I will be able to support my art by living and being remunerated as an artist, and can therefore paint and create full time.

I am a generous man and do not plan on changing that any time soon. What I am changing is how I interact with others digitally, especially when it comes to sharing and promoting my artworks and other digital forms online.

Here is my Linktree with every platform that I use online:

If you post any of my art, likewise an article or photograph, you must use this link.

If you feel that only one link or subject topic relates to whatever it is of mine you are sharing or using in your own digital expression, feel free to use that website link only.

Where applicable use #setken . If I am on the same platform use my nic on that platform too.

If I commissioned or bought a piece from you and you want to post that on a social, the same applies, depending on the item, unless we both agree otherwise.

If you ask for information to help with your research a reciprocal shout out or thank you is required. If I take the time to share my research – which represents a lifetime of work doing so – is a public thank you too much to ask for?

If you are publishing or sharing that research the acknowledgment needs to be more formal as stated above. This includes photos that I have taken.

If you want me to post a review of your product, you must reciprocate with a shout out, post, or some other endorsement of my work in exchange.

If you feel it necessary to put “retweet does not imply endorsement” to any post concerning me then don’t share anything of mine period. And please don’t continue to ask me for stuff. (If you have that in your profile as a general thing already it’s fine, this is not the point that I am clearly making here).

Likes, retweets, link backs and shares are all currency now.

I have been and will continue to like, retweet, link back and share all of the artists, craftspeople, inspirationals and products that float my boat.

I now expect the same back.

Here’s to our Brave New Digital World.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

The Time Has Come For Setken And Patreon

The reasons for not setting up a Patreon earlier are too numerous, and needless to say I have moved past that point now.

The opportunity now exists for those that appreciate what I do and to contribute if you they wish via this platform. It may be a donation or a subscription, and either a welcomed. 

It is still OK to keep admiring my work if you don't join my Patreon too.

There is so much artistically that I wish to achieve, and this ultimately comes down to being able to afford a lifestyle that allows me to do so. My output and creativity levels go through the roof when I am not worrying over money. And this is the reason I have established the Patreon.

What lays ahead?

More art, a video project or two, and creation of Patreon only content for those that have subscribed.

Below is a new artist photo previously unpublished and harkens to my interest in developing an AMG style work in the future both as a painting and video / film.

Photo credit: Ryan M Photography; colorization by Kitten)

Friday, 20 March 2020

Kemetery virtual reveal

My live feed reveal of new painting Kemetery last night had worldwide viewers between You Tube and Instagram. It was a fun event to do and I have included the link to the Vimeo version here.

If you go to my Vimeo channel you will find other vids related to my work too. Subscribe so you can keep in the loop.

Friday, 6 March 2020

My Nympho Adventure In The Yarra Valley

The Blue Lotus Water Garden is tucked away on the outskirts of Melbourne metro, and is another great example of the hidden treasures this city yields when you go searching.

When you walk through the admission area a world of ponds, flora, nature and boundless VIBRANT colour awaits. I had no idea that the lotus species had so many variations and so many peculiarities such as giant lily-pads, curious pods from which the plants emerge and a range of luscious colours.

Information stations are posted throughout the park - and to be clear this is not a tiny setting, the grounds are vast - where you can learn about the various species of plant that you are viewing, famous botanists that procured the plants for Melbourne and other stories, as well as information about where the plants thrive in other parts of the world.

Fans of Impressionism will love the attention given to Monet on one such board and the beautiful lake (complete with a red bridge) that is named after him. One imagines that coming here on a warm day with some art materials and setting up under one of the many pergolas that abound throughout the property some great art might be made.

It was an overcast and drizzly day yet still the haunting luminescence of the flowers' petals were clearly present as my photos attest. Even though the computer screen can not convey the brilliance of the colour (that's what we artists are for!) it gives a good indication.

The Blue Lotus is sacred to the Netjer / divine being / god / Nefertum, and I imagined a sculpture of Him emerging from the centre of one of the many lakes. I have included my rendering of the deity from my 2016 painting The Netjeru In New York City below so that so you can get a taste of one of His divine forms.

Next time I visit - and I plan to cum again - I hope to purchase some lotus spagyric tinctures, perhaps some nootropic powders, and essential oils.

The Blue Lotus sacred to Nefertum is the species Nymphaea caerulea, and hence the title of this review. It kept getting spell checked to nympho so I left it in. So I also got inspiration to write an erotic short story but it's not for publishing here.

There was a carnivorous plants section and some wonderfully healthy specimens like this one live there; I hope to see Venus Flytraps added to this collection next time

The God Nefertum - Lord Of The Blue Lotus,
Divine Lion,
Son Of Ptah and Sekhmet
from my 2016 painting
The Netjeru In New York City

Saturday, 8 February 2020

The Majestic Medu - Why I Include Them In My Art And What They Mean To Me

I want to discuss my use of hieroglyphs in my paintings, the sacred writing (the medu) that was used in Ancient Kemet, and how their importance in my life as an artist and seeker of the mystical has grown significantly in the last few years. May Djehuti guide my hand and direct my thoughts as I do this!

Note: I have deliberately used links to earlier posts from my blog archive (usually in reference to paintings that I refer to) in an attempt to get the reader to mine that archive.

The medu are a system of writing that I believe we are yet to fully understand. We can translate the mundane aspects of what they convey, but there is a hidden layer to them that I feel needs to be read shamanically in order to make true sense of what has been inscribed.
I am discussing sacred texts in this case, the writings we have found in tombs and temple walls. These were not meant for profane eyes, and as only a tiny proportion of the ancient population was able to read anyways, this likely remained the case for centuries.
This technology may mean that when we read the medu, it works in a different way to reading something in our own language. If the medu are mystically alive it may also mean that as we read them, they read us.

Djehuti detail from my 2016 painting The Netjeru In New York City

Mystical windows

I have discovered that some glyphs have properties whereupon one can look into a different world or state by meditating upon them. Sometimes it is quite clear the connection the glyphs make between me the observer and what is observed and sometimes it is not.

Logos and talismans of the gods
Some glyphs are very potent with certain Netjeru. The tyet sign is a good example. It is a knot found worn on many examples of people and Netjeru yet seems to very much be resonant of Auset, hence its nickname the Knot of Isis.
I find the rotated ka sign with a tail resonant with Nehebukau as it is only found in the spelling of His name.
The medu that make up the names of the gods and that we use to identify and in some cases distinguish from other gods are potent forces of themselves. For this reason I include them in all paintings that feature Netjer.
In the same way we use logos today, I think the medu had a head start on this. I do believe that Laird Scranton mentioned this idea in a interview recently.

Sacred and profane
I think the medu work one way when conveying data and quantifying (just like modern letters and sentences that form stock-take information for example) and another when addressing the Netjeru or sacred material.

The Kemetic palette - identifiable signs and not so identifiable
Egyptology has done a great job in identifying what most of the signs actually are, distinguished from what they represent, how they sound and what they convey.
Most signs are straight forward - we can see when we are looking at a duck or vulture for example.
But others have mystery. The most famous example is the ankh. Despite countless depictions in painting and sculpture of this sign being held in the hand like some kind of clutch purse, there are theories that range from it being a sandal strap to a penis entering a vagina.
I have found new dimensions to signs that resonate with our perceived meaning of them, as well as completely different ones that I am still trying to make sense of.
I have written here about the sign designated as Gardiner sign X8.

The sign designated Gardiner list X8

This sign has been the subject of much contemplation and meditation for me so the assertions in that article were not written lightly. It has spawned inspiration for one of my most sacred paintings, Hierophany. Can hieroglyphs also function as powerful sigils?

My painting from last year, Hierophany
Acrylic on gessoed board
70cm x 100cm
Spells and formula
Word plays and puns are abound in Kemetic writing, and some more astute observers have recognized this interplay as a type of magick. This was first bought to my attention by RA Schwaller de Lubicz in the Her Bak volumes which I read in my early twenties and have reread since.
Can we ever find the true power behind magick spells until we figure out exactly how the Kemetic language sounded? Maybe not, but its worth trying and some attempts to do so have been undertaken using Coptic as a starting point.

Decoration in Kemetic art as well my paintings
Examples abound from the archaeological record of the medu being used in decorative patterns, and it is clear that the ancients paid attention to the layout and placement of the letters so that they looked commanding in and of themselves, as well as the object they decorated or the person or deity they referenced.
I have used hieroglyphs in many ways over the years. Purely decorative (as in the lower portion of Propaganda, 2017), prayers and petitions (Winged Set, 2013, Winged Heru, 2017), actual passages from sacred texts (Zemmit, Zemit, 2019, Anger 2013), as stand alone sigils that might be passages to other realms (Hierophany, 2019, The Artist As Beloved Of Heru And Set, 2014).

Acrylic on canvas
48' x 60"

The Pyramid texts of King Pepi I and King Merynra
As I continue to delve into sacred texts, read hieroglyph decipher manuals, and meditate on these sacred tools, I feel a resonance with them that seems to connect with Netjer Themselves.

In most cases these days, whenever I paint the Netjeru I include Their name in glyphs as part of the heka I am making with the artwork. Those familiar with my paintings will note that 2 sets of pyramid text utterances have been featured across many paintings.

The text from Pepi I has been one that has fascinated me for a long time, and I use it as my Artist Statement on my website: I feel that it encapsulates what I do that strongly.

I first featured this text in a painting from 2018, Dazzled by The Mirror of Heaven. I repeated it on the entrance stelae to Magickal 142 again later in 2018, and feature it again in an upcoming work, Kemetery.

The King Merynra text known as Utterance 570 from that corpus of work has been featured in Zemit and Zemmit. I speak this utterance daily as one of the most sacred texts that has been bequeathed to us from the Kemetic civilization and one that resonates most strongly with me personally.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Miracles that may go unnoticed - a final post for the decade

As a result of falling ill earlier in December, my vacation in my hometown of Adelaide took on a different hue. I have not been as sick for as long as I remember, and it certainly knocked me off my feet. Result was that I had to slow down.

Moving at a different pace allowed me to appreciate my friends, family and my hometown more than ever (I am not usually kind about Adelaide, but I have a different* viewpoint now). The vacation, now over, was healing and therapeutic.

On the drive back yesterday I was plagued by urgent urination: I had 2 strong coffees before the 9.5 hour long trek from Melbourne to Adelaide, and as I have not been ingesting as much since getting sick a few weeks back, my body couldn't handle it.

I pissed myself a little before I got to Tailem Bend and had to endure going to a service station toilet with a patch on my light coloured shorts. To avoid this happening again, as soon as the urge hit the next few times I pulled over straight away.

As turns out, I pulled into a stop at the Pink Salt Flats in Lochiel, Victoria. I didn't even know this existed. After I used the toilet from hell there I braved the 45 degree heat to venture on to the salt flats to take this footage. It reminded me of being with Ptahmassu on the Salt Flats in West Wendover.

These pics of Ra majestically finishing His daytime journey (rather close to our planet I might add - it was a very hot day) came from the night before at Brighton Beach, South Australia.

It was an interesting decade.


*somewhat different