The artist in front of Akhet Khufu (the great pyramid), Egypt
I was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. I am now based in Melbourne, Victoria. Late last century, I was faced with a choice: living in Adelaide and having being accepted into the Centre For the Performing Arts as an actor, and the Stanley Street School Of Art, I chose the former and my artistic life pursuing performing arts commenced. But . . . . .
In November 2010 a lifelong desire to visit Egypt was realised. By the beginning of 2012 my urge to artistically express the Ancient Egyptian Gods—theNetjeru—was so great that I picked up a paintbrush and began painting again for the first time in over 20 years.
I have not stopped since.
I describe my paintings as “Nouveau Kemetic”, “Neo Kemetic”, and “Neo Pharaonic”. All of these terms speak to the inherent Ancient Egyptian themes that my paintings centre upon and the new take on those themes also.
I use a Kemetic (i.e. Ancient Egyptian) name as my painting moniker because I paint Kemetic themed work. The name Setken is also the brand name for my art, and the cartouche logo is my trademark.
The sacred expressing Itself through art is of great interest to me: I casually study comparative religions through education resources like Audible, podcasts, and traditional learning. I have a deep interest in the elements of the soul that I refer to as soul anatomy, most especially as expressed by the Ancient Egyptians.
The Blake Prize and The Director's Cut
I went through a phase of entering my paintings into competitions, and three of my paintings were selected for the non-prize winning arm of the Blake Prize For Religious and Spiritual Art called "The Director's Cut". The Blake Prize has undergone some changes in its administration and it appears that now - or certainly from the 65th Blake Prize - the Director's Cut is no longer a part of the competition.
In the 62nd Blake Prize (2013) two of my works were selected and featured in the online gallery of same. The pieces were Winged Set and The Artist As Beloved Of Heru And Set.
.In the 64th (2016) Blake Prize Director's Cut my painting This Has All Happened Before And This Will All Happen Again, was selected. This painting is also featured on the cover of an Egyptology book.
My Blake Prize Director's Cut finalist painting from 2015, This Has All Happened Before And This Will All Happen Again, is featured on the cover of an academic book by Egyptologist Dr. Paul Harrison.
I began correspondence with Paul some years ago when I was undertaking my research trip to the United States to explore how Kemeticisim and Ancient Egypt was manifesting in that country today - Paul had undertaken similar before me and I was asking his advice. The selected painting is in fact from my series created out of that trip, The Netjeru In America.
I am thrilled that the painting was selected for the cover of the work, which Paul has taken some 9 years to research and create.
Neo Pharaonic Exhibition 2018
My one and only gallery exhibition was staged in February of 2018. A documentary was made about it that won some prizes in short film festivals in the US Short Film Festival Circuit.
Podcast interview 2018
I was the subject of a Profane Egyptologist* podcast, and my interviews (it was a 2 parter) covered a lot of ground with interesting questions asked by host Paul Harrison (who wrote the book of the same name!)
Part 1 goes into my background and the events leading to my painting career, and Part 2 goes into detail with some of my paintings. I feel that these interviews are so insightful, so perceptive of the background and work of my art that I honestly believe I don't need to do another interview - it's all here.
Praying Mantis God Documentary podcast interview 2020
GB Marian's Desert Of Set podcast interviewed me about the documentary I made that featured the Netjer Abyt. Listen to it here.
In early 2020 after the pandemic hit, it was pretty clear to me that I needed to get on board a platform that would help those that like my work to support me. Any contribution, no matter how small, is a massive gift and helps me make the space to create more art.
Patrons subscribing at the $5- level upwards get access to the Hi-Res TIF library of my paintings catalogue and may reproduce my art for their own personal use as my gratitude for Patreon subscription.
In 2021 I began a 7 essay series called The Genesis Of Setken. 7 stories leading up to my 20's reveal traces of who I was to become later and have been selected specifically because they relate to my art. I commissioned 7 digital artists to create portraits of me based on an excerpt from the Praying mantis documentary that juxtaposes the before and now / becoming. This is one example of material that is patrons only and will not be published in free media.
InYou can find my Patreon page here.
The artist out front of the Temple Of King Seti I in Abdju (Abydos), Egypt
Still from the video footage for Hymn To The Soul Serpent, November 2020; this image is also featured in the 2021 painting "2020 Vision"