Memory Сells. Egypt, 2020, acrylic, oil on canvas, 80x80cm
Memory Cells. Egypt / Memory cells. Egypt.
Egypt is not the Promised Land: it is a land created by man day after day, year after year, a work that is renewed endlessly, where the creations are mixed with the image of the Creator. There are no sharp differences between gods and people: there gods dwell among mortals; their faces are the same human faces or the images of animals that surround them on earth and in heaven. In every piece of the Egyptian land – water and universal, cosmic fire, death and resurrection, human essence and divine essence.
That is why, when I saw one family of Egyptians, it seemed to me that the gods came to life, I wanted to draw them.
The ancient Egyptians were an extremely life-oriented people who largely tried to supplant the thought of age and death. Instead, the concept of life in the afterlife and rebirth was put to the fore.
The thinking of the ancient Egyptian people was not rational – logical, but figuratively – symbolic. There was a magic principle that all perfect, great things are reflected in something small, outwardly nondescript – both above and below, the macrocosm is equal to the microcosm. On this basis, the scarab beetle became a symbol of the rising sun, and the sky could be depicted as a cow. In the same way, it was possible, through symbolic actions and drawings, to influence important processes taking place in the world of the Gods and in the other world. The symbols themselves were attributed to their inherent inner strength, something like an essence or soul.
The ancient Egyptian religion contained a huge number of deities with diverse forms of manifestation. Gods – as, indeed, people – were supposed to have a large number of different qualities of character, so that one and the same deity could be depicted in all kinds of incarnations.
Ankh is one of the most important ancient Egyptian symbols with the meaning of “life” (“immortality”), also known as “crux ansata”. The sign is very simple but powerful. It combines two symbols – a cross, as a symbol of life, and a circle, as a symbol of eternity. Their combination means immortality.
The Eye of Horus is the emblem of the falcon-headed god of the sky Horus, a symbol of the all-seeing eye and the unity of the cosmos, the integrity of the universe. According to ancient Egyptian myth, the moon eye of Horus was snatched out by Set in the battle for supremacy among the gods, but after the victory of Horus in this battle, it grew again. This myth became the reason for the extreme popularity of the Eye of Horus as a warding off evil amulet. The spiral under the eye (shaped like a galaxy) symbolizes energy and perpetual motion.
The Eye of Horus was also associated with healing, as ancient Egyptian physicians often viewed illness as analogous to the battle between Horus and Set.
In mathematics, the Eye had a curious function – it was used to denote fractions. According to one version of the myth, Seth cut the torn out eye of Horus into 64 parts, so his incomplete image symbolizes some fractional number: the pupil is 1/4, the eyebrow is 1/8, etc.
These are my memories, my acquaintance with Egypt, to be continued …