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!
The Garstang Museum of Archaeology is the departmental museum for the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. The university’s where I studied Egyptology, so it’s a place close to my heart.
I’m excited to share with you that I’ll be getting my hands dirty at the Garstang with some photographic projects. The curator, Dr Gina Criscenzo Laycock, and I studied for our Masters together, so it’s been lovely to catch up with an old friend and get the opportunity to start this project.
The project hasn’t completely taken form yet, and will probably continue to evolve as time goes on. However, what I do know is that I’ll be up at the Garstang quite frequently for the foreseeable future. I’ll be helping them with some photography and building up my own personal portfolio that I can then mould into future projects. My personal vision is to represent the artefacts in my own artistic way and to make good use of my macro lens to get up really close and personal with details that might ordinarily pass by the human eye.
Arrangements are still loose right now, but I’m going to the museum on Wednesday for my first photography session, so I’ll share more after that.
In the mean time, here’s some photos I took a few weeks ago at the museum of a carving of a statue of the goddess Hathor in her bovine form. The study was to test out some of my lenses to see what they were capable of, and also to show Gina a few ideas for my project.
Hathor at the Garstang Museum
The sculpture is a fragment, quite damaged in places. It’s mounted in protective black foam and is on display in the museum.
This is a less ‘clinical’/informative depiction, and a more ‘artistic’ portrait of Hathor.
I took this close-up to highlight not only the beauty of the shape of her eye, but also the detail in the surface of the stone.
This is the name Hathor – Hwt-Hr in Egyptian (hoot-hor), meaning ‘the temple of Horus’ (Hathor was the wife of Horus). ‘Hathor’ is the Greek rendering of the Egyptian name.
You can see this bit of detail towards the top left of the statue in the first photo. The surface is a little uneven, and I could’ve done with focus-stacking it, but it gives you an idea of the kind of detail you can home in on.
This is a detail of one of the cartouches (the oval shapes which contained royal names). It’s not a photo of great beauty, but I took it to be able to see the remnants of paint. You can see this cartouche just to the right of Hathor’s cheek in the first photo.
This lucky Egyptian’s receiving cool water to drink from the goddess, and is the face you can see at the bottom right corner of the sculpture. I took this side-on with the macro lens to exaggerate the selective focus and make the face the main focus.
You may not be able to guess straight away what this is. It’s fragments of gold leaf just where the right ear is joined to the head. When I showed this to Gina, she was surprised to see that there’s a piece of straw on the stone. This might be from the packing material used when John Garstang brought the sculpture back from Egypt a century ago.
So, there you have it. A few teasers of what’s to come and a portrait of a goddess. I hope this first post gives you an idea of the direction I’m hoping to head in with this project. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’ll keep you updated along the way.
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