Ra of the Morning Picture

Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. He is the creator of the world and so it's believed his name may have meant "create". If this is true, we could also assume he might represent the creative inspiration of the artist.

Ra voyaged in two solar boats called the Mandjet (the Boat of Millions of Years), or morning boat which sailed across the daytime sky, and Mesektet, the evening boat which traversed the underworld at night. Here you see the daytime boat being pushed across the sky by the god Kephri who takes the form of a scarab beetle.

The art work was entirely completed using pastels with one image for the sun and one for the scarab. However, the images were drawn in complementary colours so that the fire of the sun was actually portrayed in blue. Then the images were digitally combined to create the reversed negative image you see here. The logic of this process is that the negative reversal reflects the visual creative process of generating the image from the unconscious.

The mythology of Ra is extensive so this has been an ongoing project with evolving images. The first versions were reversed in the darkroom some years ago before the digital negative reversal process was possible.
Continue Reading: The Underworld