The artist at Akhet Khufu (the Great Pyramid), Egypt
Late last century, I was faced with a choice. I was living in Adelaide and had been accepted into both the Centre For the Performing Arts as an actor, and the Stanley Street School Of Art in visual 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 paint again was so great that I picked up a paintbrush and painted for the first time in over 20 years. I have not stopped since.
I have described my paintings as “Nouveau Kemetic”, “Neo Kemetic”, and “Neo Pharaonic” over the years. All of these terms speak to the inherent Ancient Egyptian themes that my paintings centre upon and the new take on those themes also. The term I currently prefer is Pharaonic Surrealism, but I am fine with folks thinking of my style as a form of Ancient Egyptian Fan Art.
I use an Ancient Egyptian name as my painting moniker and this name - Setken - is also the brand name for my art. The cartouche logo is my trademark.
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.
The book was published on December 22 of 2017. I received my copy of the book on the day of the installation of my debut exhibition.
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.
I continue painting and have commenced studying computer game creation as a new way to feature my art and ideas. I am in the process of creating a computer game that features my art.
The sacred expressing Itself through art is of great interest to me: I casually study comparative religions through educational 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.
I consider myself an amateur Egyptologist and study hieroglyphics to this end, as well as pharaonic and modern Egyptian history (I have a great interest in the first Egyptian Prime Minister Saad Zaghloul).
I am an amateur bodybuilder and continue training as a good balance to my other pursuits. I have an interest in alternate therapies and especially essential oils and the therapeutic effects they have on well being.
I am taking a break from social media this year and will review what I want to do with my social media presence again in 2023.
The artist out front of the Temple Of King Seti I in Abdju (Abydos), Egypt