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  • Writer's pictureSetken

1. Adventures In Zoomorphic Idolatry

Updated: Mar 12

Acrylic on linen

48” x 36”

March 2023 The painting is the poster advertising the exhibition and shares its title*.

The first work encountered when approaching the exhibition space, its position on the wall in the stairwell allows it to be partially seen from the shop below, and can also be viewed from inside the show room itself, albeit not as well from the stairs.

The exhibition title, Adventures In Zoomorphic Idolatry came in meditation, along with most of the paintings that were to be featured.

The tableaux arrangement of the central figure and surrounds is inspired by a John Martin mezzotint that I saw in an exhibition in Ballarat called Radicals, Slayers and Villains. The near 200-year-old image, Satan Presiding At The Infernal Council (1825), was one illustration of many that the artist made to accompany Milton’s Paradise Lost, and belongs to a period of art collectively referred to as Romantic Satanism.

My interpretation of the central figure with the plague doctor mask was captured in a photograph in January 2023 by photographer Ryan McWilliam (RM photography) who has shot a few photos with me as the model that have ended up in paintings. Ryan is also the official photographer for the exhibition and has photographed the paintings for the catalogue.

Original image for Adventures In Zoomorphic Idolatry painting poster

The sha animals featured at the bottom of the painting are based on an alter piece made for me by Kemetic craftsman and jeweller extraordinaire Baba Heru of Studio Ptah in NYC.

The deities featured in the painting:

A pair of winged Set’s are atop the corners, each wielding an adze and uas sceptres

The goddess of Upper Egypt on the bottom left, seated, Nekhbet

The goddess of Lower Egypt on the bottom right, seated, Wadjet

The crocodile god Sobek on a bier centre middle bottom Cameo brooches left from top: Sekhmet

Heru (Horus)



Djehuti (Thoth)

Nehebukau Cameo brooches right from top: Ptah

HetHrt (Hathor)


NebetHt (Nephthys)


Sepa * My first exhibition in 2018 Neo Pharaonic also featured a poster that I had painted specifically for the event, but it did not share the exhibition title – it was called Propaganda.

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