In the past I have made some very exciting pieces for the Great North Museum, Hancock, many of those linked to their Egyptian collection. To add to the interactive ‘Mummy’, the dressing up clothes and other pieces, I was recently asked to make a large textile panel which showed the ‘Weighing of the Heart’ ceremony – as the heart should be lighter than a feather to reach the afterlife – to be used in school workshops.
The panel shows the Egyptian gods Anubis, Ammut, Thoth and Horus. The panel was painted on fabric, to ensure it could be easily folded and was practical to use for school workshops.
When starting to research the different gods, how they were illustrated, the colours they wore, it was quite frustrating to see there was quite a lot of variation – they both have very distinctive faces but the design changes from tomb wall panel.
One the panel, was to be written in hieroglyphics a secret message from the museum’s Learning Team, for the school children to decode. Again from researching hieroglyphics, I have discovered there is also quite a lot of variation in the standard imagery used – but my 10 year old was able to decipher it last night without a crib sheet from what she remembered learning at school a couple of years ago, so I think the children will be fine!
Whenever I work on projects like this, I realise just how lucky I am to be able to get involved with such interesting and fascinating projects – for this to be my job!