Sunday, October 17, 2021

Time Travel with a bag of crayons

Diptych in the fourth dimension
Watercolour and crayon
©2013 Charlene Brown

This is the beginning of one of the projects in my ‘Plan for 2021’   Creative archaeology: reinterpreting some of the photos and sketches I accumulated in past archaeology-related travel with the University of Victoria travel study program.

I’ll be painting some new pictures, and recycling some old ones, such as ‘Diptych in the fourth dimension’ using one of my favourite sketching techniques: Drawing with crayons as a resist before painting with watercolour.  I’m going to call this series ‘Time travel with a bag of crayons’ because there are usually at least two different time periods combined in each picture.

If you’re interested in the detail of this diptych The right panel is based on a photograph I took on a UVic trip to Egypt in 2008. It shows a relief sculpture (reassembled from shards) on a wall in Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri, across the river from Luxor. The mural illustrates an expedition to the Land of Punt, an exotic country on the Red Sea coast in what is now Northern Sudan. Because I think any picture of the Upper Nile has to include the pyramids of the Black Pharaohs, they are shown on the left side. They are smaller, more sharply pointed and far more numerous than the more famous pyramids near Cairo. The fact they were built in about the 5th century BCE nine hundred years after the gardens of Punt were sculpted at Deir el-Bahri in the 14th century BCE, and are near the Nile, rather than the Red Sea, stopped me briefly…  until I thought of presenting the time/space divide as a diptych.