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‘Emerging Dawn’ photographic print
The night was a time of danger and foreboding in ancient times. For the Egyptians, it was when the sun god Re descended into the underworld to face numerous dangers from those who would see him harmed. One of the most important times of day was that first moment of dawn – a time of rebirth and renewal – when Re emerged as a scarab beetle back into the sky, triumphant over his foes.
‘Hedgehog’ photographic print
Ancient Egyptians wore hedgehog amulets as a symbol of protection, inspired by the creature’s impressive defensive abilities and their resistance to scorpion stings. They were also associated with rebirth, new beginnings and renewal because of their hibernation habits. When a hedgehog emerged from its burrow after months away, it symbolised a renewal of life.
‘She Who Nourishes’ photographic print
Hathor was a goddess revered by many people from many walks of life. She was the wife of Horus, her name meaning ‘Mansion of Horus’. She was closely associated with motherhood, childbirth, nourishment, female sexuality. She assisted with both conception and childbirth. In her bovine form, as in this piece, Hathor protected the deceased and nourished them with her milk. She restored the damaged eye of Horus when he fought Seth, giving her an association with protection and healing. Hathor was also a goddess of music, happiness and drunkenness, as well as a goddess of foreign lands, of trade and the collection of resources from the desert.
‘The Backbone of Osiris’ photographic print
The djed-pillar brought powers of strength, stability and regeneration. It was a symbol of Ptah, the god of craftsmen and ‘hearer of prayers’, revered by masons, builders, metalworkers and potters. It was also considered to be the backbone of Osiris, the first king of Egypt, god of fertility and ruler of the underworld. Djed-amulets were common, as was its depiction on tomb walls. Because of its association with Osiris, the djed was often seen alongside the tyet-knot, or Isis knot, Isis being the wife of Osiris. The king was sometimes shown taking part in the ‘raising the djed-pillar’ ritual, associating him with strength as king and bringing stability to the cosmos.
‘The Protection of Isis’ photographic print
The tyet, or ‘Isis knot’ was an amulet representing the goddess Isis. As the mother of Horus – the king of Egypt – Isis embodied motherhood. She was also a powerful healer and magician and, along with her sister Nephthys, mourned the dead and protected and sustained them in the afterlife. Tyet-amulets were a symbol of protection from harm.
‘Thoth’ photographic print
Thoth was the inventor of writing, and was an accountant and record-keeper; he was greatly revered by scribes in ancient Egypt. He was also mediator, advisor and messenger to the gods, as well as a magician, possessing knowledge and magic unknown even to his divine colleagues.