Beloved Kemet, Beloved America

My trip is over.

My quest to explore the re-manifestation of Netjer / Kemeticism, in this my 5th trip to the United States, has come to an end.

My journey took me from New York, to San Francisco (layover) to New Jersey (short stop to NY because of snow storms), to Boston, to Houston(layover), to Salt Lake City (layover), West Wendover, San Jose and ultimately back to Los Angeles for the flight back to Melbourne.

I have visited some of the best collections of Egyptian antiquities outside of Egyptitself. I have seen art that heretofore I knew only from books – my trip rendering me standing before some of the all time greats like Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne, Braque, Klimt . . . so many more.

I met some of the very peoples that are instrumental in playing their part in this re-manifestation: Baba Heru Ankh Ra Semahj from Studio Of Ptah in New York – who gifted me with an exquisite ring of Heru; Ptahmassu Nofra U’aa who now resides in the top corner of Nevada in a landscape as breathtaking and very similar to Kemet itself! Richard Reidy invited me to a ritual for the Netjeret Bastet, and I finally got to meet Tamara Suida who has provided me with the hieroglyphic transcriptions for many of my paintings.

I was given this ring by Master Craftsman of Ptah Himself,  Baba Heru Ankh Ra Semahj from Studio Of Ptah in New York City; I wore it every day for the remainder of the trip
I felt the Netjeru Themselves as I made my way through my journey. Meh Urt seemed to usher me into the country, as if she followed me from Melbournewhere I began to notice her. I had partaken in some discussions on global warming and flooding when I first got to NYC, and Baba Heru reminded me that Her name means "Great Flood".

I had my first ever experience of snow and it was significant. The freezing cold and perils of snowfall – unknown to me before this – brought challenges I had not yet faced. I tweeted about the nature of snow and who its Netjer might be, and Tamara answered that it was considered to be of Set in times when the ancients made expeditions to countries where it was prevalent. That made a lot of sense to me. And when I finally surrendered to the snow, and acknowledged Set in His role in this, the trip took on a new dimension. I had to rise to the challenge of navigating my way through the snow in New York and Boston – and OUT of New York and Boston. By not paying attention to weather alerts I could have got stuck in either city, and potentially trapped there longer than needed: it could potentially have ruined the trip.

In another part of the trip I felt the presence of Ptah in a very real, powerful way. I am understating this and staying brief, as it is connected with a moment I wish to keep private. (But you will see a reflection of that moment in one of the paintings that will be produced as a result of this trip).

Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah; it felt like I was standing in Kemet itself. A breathtaking, moving experience that punctuated the 2nd half of my journey; centre right is a flat table projection of the mountain that is the subject of "Montu Mountain" (see paintings list below)

I felt the presence of Montu in a mountain, Nekhbet and Mut as a vulture flew by, Meretseger in the silence of the Utah peaks, and all of the Netjeru in the salt flats of Bonneville. How I worshiped Ra when I arrived at Houstonairport where it was warm and there was NO snow! I thanked Ra again when I got to San Jose where the weather was like a good and rare summer in Melbourne: I got to swim, sunbake, and draw under Ra’s rays, by this time many of the paintings beginning to materialise in sketch form, which is usually what happens.

I felt the presence of Sobek when I saw Him on a devotees arm as an exceptionally beautiful tattoo; I felt many Netjeru as I browsed exquisite antiquities across the country, but there was One who literally called me to Her statues each time there was a large votive statue present (usually from the reign of Amenhotep III as he made so many created!): Sekhmet. This happened at all 4 of the major museums I visited.

These breathtaking statues of Sekhmet have captured me again for the third time and every time I visit the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York
I want to write about all of the Netjeru I sensed or felt during those visits to the Met and Brooklyn Museums in New York, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose but it’s such a big list: Wadjet, Ausar, Auset, NebtHt, Neith, Hat-Mehit, Herishef, Banebdjedet, Khnum, Nefertum, Nut, Amon Ra, Hap, Djehuti, Khonsu – may the Netjeru that I did not mention forgive me!

Ptahmassu at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah; connecting with this man was pivotal to the trip, and has generated a forthcoming collaboration in the form of an exhibition of our work together in a city in the United States in the future

The Paintings

I have sketches for 8 + 1 paintings as a result of this trip - 8 specifically with the theme "The Netjeru in America". I list the working titles (they may change) and the city / place where the genesis of inspiration occurred (each work however will be and is influenced by other parts of the visit as is natural I think):

Inspired in New York:

  • This has all happened before and this will all happen again
  • Triple Sekhmet
  • The Netjeru in New York (a work I had begun on some time ago, based on my last trip in 2009)

Inspired in Boston and New York:

  • Dazzled by the mirror of heaven

Inspired in Wendover:

  • Risk
  • Blessed by the son of Ptah
  • Montu Mountain

Inspired in San Jose

  • Ancient gods, new world

Inspired in Melbourne, sketched on the way to LA and affirmed in San Jose

  • Infernal

The Lunar New Year has commenced, and is the sign of the Ram. Perhaps Amon himself blesses my return, and the potency of my sojourn that I carry within me?

And now the real work begins.

One of the most powerful symbols of this trip and the concept of my forthcoming series, "The Netjeru In America": the so called Cleopatra's needle in Central Park New York City; the obelisk has dedication originally from Djehutymose III and later Ramesses II and will be featured in a forthcoming painting

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