Extinct Icons: The Divine Beest

IMG_20170121_191254_552

By this point I had increased my stores of beads and sequins quite considerably, mostly due to the kindness of strangers donating their unwanted bits and pieces.

IMG_20170122_171917_273

The elongated, more simple skull and horns of this animal gave me a lot of opportunity to continue with my embellishment experiment.

IMG_20170123_204659_788

I accidentally started embroidering on the wrong side of my cotton drill. Which is annoying because the diagonal weave on the right side provides lovely guide lines for shading.

IMG_20170124_174118_292

I didn’t give it much thought at the time, but the photograph of the skull that I used to trace my design from provided little texture, meaning the skull was particularly ‘clean’. However in the overall composition this balanced really well as the horns were so embellished.

IMG_20170126_183044_663

Holographic gold sequins. Sigh.

IMG_20170128_183405_105

IMG_20170129_181732_372

This photo is a little shaky but for this piece I wanted to exaggerate the Hartebeest’s spiritual significance in North African culture with, amongst other things, the choice of semi precious lapis and turquoise stones. 

IMG_20170130_184704_021

As usual, I made it up as I went along, alternating blue and turquoise, inspired by an ancient Egyptian palette.

IMG_20170131_181011_010

IMG_20170201_181440_980

IMG_20170202_192007_490

IMG_20170205_170724_152

IMG_20170208_180244_453

I used red accents very sparingly. Although this was fun, it was harder than it looks, trying to keep each section unique, and the lines relatively even.

IMG_20170209_181517_875

Once the horns were done, I just had the halo to complete.

IMG_20170210_173633_264

For this I chose gold passing.

IMG_20170211_173704_629

IMG_20170212_194330_032

Ugh, the pain of tying back your ends.

IMG_20170222_171130_562

Finally I used flat black sequins to create a motif around the gold halo, in a nod to the aesthetic of the sacred cow Goddess in ancient Egypt Mehret Wehret and Hathor.

IMG_20170223_175627_521

The Bubal Hartebeest was a social animal, formerly native to the land north of the Saharan desert. It’s main predator was the also extinct Barbary Lion.
It was an animal of significance in ancient Egyptian culture. Remains of Bubal Hartebeest have been found in archaeological sites as well as hieroglyphs (the sacred form of writing) representing the animal. Possibly a sacrificial animal, it is also mentioned in the Old Testament.
It’s numbers sharply declined in the 19th century after the French conquest of Algeria, when entire herds were massacred at once by colonial military. The last captive animal died in the Paris zoo in 1925

3 thoughts on “Extinct Icons: The Divine Beest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s