The Amarna Family Group

The eagle-eyed will have noticed that I now have a Ko-fi account. I’ve been meaning to do that for a while, but the current situation has given me plenty of time in which to do so. At the moment, the hope is that any “coffees” will help with the costs of running this blog, but in the next couple of years, I hope they could also help with venue costs to hold an exhibition of “Dreams of Amarna” embroidery.

I’m going to try to learn a few new tricks while we all need to keep safe at home, trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and one of them relates to this project. It occurred to me that people may need something gentle to watch, so I’m going to try to work out how to do little videos of the stitching. So, health permitting, watch this space…!

I had thought that once I’d done the Faience Necklace, and finished the Hunting Cat Fresco, that would be all for Dreams of Amarna, but then it occurred to me that the informality and intimacy of the depictions of the Royal Family in Amarna-period art was one of the reasons it has caught and held our attention. Mary Chubb describes the scene depicted on this stele in her book (there are several broadly similar scenes), and it came to my mind in conjunction with the bejewelled golden chair in Tutankhamun’s tomb which shows him with his wife in a similarly informal pose.

Border Patterns
A variety of Egyptian border patterns being experimented with..

So I’m going to work it in or nué. I’ve been playing with my paints and some prints of the stele, trying to find a satisfying arrangement of colours, and work out what I’m not going to include – for instance, the hieroglyphs, at least half the rays of the Aten sun disc, and the gold torques in Akhenaten’s lap. I’m struggling a little with colourings, because the grey background of the print rewards the use of yellow (/gold) whereas on the background of gold used for or nué that colour becomes insignificant.

Then I need to plan a border for it….

7 thoughts on “The Amarna Family Group

  1. I had to google or nué as it was an expression I had never heard before. Thank you for broadining my mind! Goldwork is something I am not brave enough to start with, but will enjoy watching your progress.

  2. Lots of detail in that picture. Unless it is going to be huge, I think you will need a lot of simplification. Looking forward to the videos – you are braver than I am!

  3. You know this virus could push us all into unknown territory. I also am considering some videos for my Kogin work. Nothing like a bit of a challenge.

  4. Gosh, or nue, that will be dazzling, and require a very good magnifier while you stitch if my limited experience of gold work is any guide! I really like your first version here, the soft blue gives a sense of space and openness, and I think the key thing is the figures; they are what tell the story that captures the imagination so yes, simplify, simplify. Looking forward to any videos that arise and stay healthy Rachel.

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