Light Night opening of the Book of the Dead exhibition

with 2 Comments

If you were looking for this post on the Retrograde Photography website, I’ve combined the two sites into one. All content from Retrograde is now here. Enjoy!

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!

Unless otherwise stated, all content and photos on this site are © Julia Thorne. It’s a common misconception that images online are free from copyright. Copyright laws still stand. Please feel free to share online, but only with a link back here or to the relevant social media account. If you’d like to use any of my photos, please email me at Thank you.

Related posts:

Macro photo of a tiny Predynastic Egyptian agate arrowhead

Photographing Egyptian flint tools using a lightbox

The photography I’ve been doing at the Garstang isn’t all amulets and papyrus. I’ve photographed a lot of pottery for the Before Egypt exhibition, which in itself has been a lot more fun than I thought it might be. However, I’ve also photographed another type of object for the first time for the exhibition: flint tools.

Read More »
The top half of a small, ancient Egyptian amulet with the gods Horus-the-Child, Isis and Nephthys

An Osirian triad amulet

On 19 July 2018, my photography session at the Garstang was a Tiny Egypt one. Feeling a bit like a child at Christmas, I took a box of amulets into the imaging suite and dug in.

Read More »
The side of a small, round pot with a lug-shaped handle from Predynastic Egypt

Travelling back to the time before the pharaohs: the Predynastic Period

So, it’s a new year and I have a new project to get working on at the Garstang (hooray!). The museum’s next exhibition is planned for 2019 and shifts right back to the Predynastic Period; the time before the pharaohs. I don’t yet know what the detailed theme of the exhibition will be, though it is early days. What I do know, however, is that there’s a lot for me to be photographing, so my work’s already begun in earnest.

Read More »

Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
Book of the Dead exhibition at the Victoria Gallery and Museum - Retrograde PhotographyUpdate from the Garstang: tiny amulets and a famous Egyptologist - Retrograde Photography Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

[…] exhibition itself is in a single room, like at the Garstang. It is, however, different in several ways, […]


[…] had a bit of a break from photographing artefacts while the Book of the Dead exhibition was being put together, I started back at the Garstang a couple of weeks […]