Light Night opening of the Book of the Dead exhibition

After numerous hours in the photographic suite, many more vying with Photoshop, followed by several weeks of nail biting, hoping my photos would make the grade, finally, we got there. The Book of the Dead exhibition opened at the Garstang on 19 May 2017 as part of Liverpool Light Night.

Light Night 2017

Some lovely little demons and gods on the floor – made from my photos – welcomed us into the building and guided us to the museum.

A girl approaching the door to a museum
Visitors are guided to the exhibition by mini demons and Maat

We’d got there about half an hour after the museum had opened for the evening. It was so busy, I could hardly get through the door into the exhibition room.

We squeezed in and started to have a look around.

It was bloody marvellous!

A temporary display wall divides the room and provides more exhibition space. It moves visitors around the room, showing coffin panels, amulets, pages from funerary texts and the like. All around the walls, accompanying the artefacts and information panels are my photos of the papyri.

People in a museum gallery looking at artefacts
Coffin panels, amulets and some of my photos
A girl looking at a display case of ancient Egyptian amulets
It can be a tough job, trying to pick a favourite amulet ...
People looking at a sheet of ancient egyptian papyrus on display
My mum getting a personal Q&A session with Roland

There’s a Lake of Fire at the end, with flames made with fans, lights, and pieces of fabric.

A girl playing with a pretend flame
Playing in the Lake of Fire

Around the second side of the room are lots of my photos, some more artefacts and a corner in which to weigh your heart against the feather of truth.

Macro photos of details from the Egyptian book of the dead printed out at extra large sizes on a museum wall
Some more of my photos
People visiting an exhibition of ancient Egyptian artefacts
Lots of people came in to see the exhibition
Two girls looking at a photo on a wall
My girls admiring some of my photos
Two children playing with a set of scales, pretending to weigh their hearts in the Egyptian afterlife
My girls weighing their hearts against the feather of truth. Apparently they're both going to hell ...

The children loved it, especially the Lake of Fire, the heart weighing station and the mummy amulet jigsaw. They also loved the new dressing-up corner in the main museum (as did some of the not-so-little-kids …)

Two very grown-up Egyptologists wearing children's dress-up pharaoh's headdresses
Let it never be said that Egyptologists don't know how to have fun ...

I have to say that I was so excited to see the exhibition, and very impressed indeed. I was really happy to see my photos looking good (really happy!). But, they were just one part of a beautifully designed and produced exhibition. I must extend a big congratulations to Gina, to Roland, and to everyone who was involved in the hard work. Well done!

Do you need your artefacts professionally photographed?

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Unless otherwise credited, all photos on in this post are © Julia Thorne. If you’d like to use any of my photos in a lecture, presentation or blog post, please don’t just take them; drop me an email via my contact page. If you share them on social media, I’d appreciate a link back to this site or to one of my social media accounts. Thanks!

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