Lava Serpent of Wadjet - Egyptian Cobra Goddess
Warriors of the Sands, and Guardians of the Egyptians, Lava Serpents bring Vengeance to the Earth:
In the Foundries of Vesuvius, in the Bedrock of the Mountains - with the Persistence of the Endless, does a Lava Serpent sleep. In the Chambers of Thera, in the Magma of the Vents, with the Slumber of the Dormant, does a Lava Serpent lie. In the Enemies of Egypt, in the Pyramids of Conflict - with the Wisdoms of the Pharaoh, does a Lava Serpent wake. In the Eruptions of Primeval, in the Rush of the Lava - with the Movement of a Quake, does the Lava Serpent strike. In the Abyss of the Desolate, in the Carnage of the Crust - with the Aftermath of Onslaught, does a Lava Serpent revel. It's mission complete: a relic is born! I like the fact that this artwork captures the idea of a serpent that lives underground: as the serpent has been positioned between both Stalagmites and Stalactites - which in doing so, helps to suggest the presence of an Underground Cavern. The Cavern is not disjoint from the Lava Serpent (as you would expect), but has instead, been used to enhance the appeal of the serpent (through numerous artistic effects). First: the Stalagmites and Stalactites are used to pull you into the scene (by thought of their opposing directions - you tend to focus on the Lava Serpent). Second: the Stalagmites and Stalactites have been used as a way to add layering to the scene (as the Lava Serpent loops both under and over them - you tend to gain a perception of depth). Third: the rock ceiling/roof appears as though it's being held in place by the Golden Pillar (suggesting that the Cavern roof could collapse - as it is with the Wrath of the Earth). When these three effects/features are combined with the darker rock (towards the bottom-left of the artwork), I fall-under the impression that the Lava Serpent is sheltering (perhaps from the Storms of the Lava). I also approve of the use of colour within this artwork, especially the way in-which the Lava Serpents skin, appears to be connected with both the Element of Fire (the reds and yellows) and the Element of Earth (the greens). I also feel that the choice of colours was made (by the artist) to convey two further important concepts. First: there is the concept of size - as you realise that the Lava Serpents skin is repeated towards the top of the artwork (making me think of the existence of gigantic Lava Serpents). Second: there is the concept of belonging - as the Golden Pillar appears to be out of place (making me think of the Ancient Egyptians and their Engineering/Architecture Skills). I suspect that this artwork was painted in oils - as there's a fair amount of blending/transparency (on the Lava Serpents skin) and several raised/contrasting edges (especially around the black and red fans/frills). As such, it appears that the artist decided to break-up several uniform tones/areas, by employing the pointillism technique (in two places). The first: pointillism has been used on the darker rock (to suggest some-kind of underground algae). The second: pointillism has been used on the background (to suggest the concept of Inner Space - perhaps within the Centre of the Earth, where the Cavern is nothing but a Portal). Overall: I love the Conflict that occurs within this artwork. On the one side, there is the Elemental Powers of the Volcano (the reds of the serpent) together with the Savageness of the Earth (the Stalagmite and Stalactite teeth). Yet on the other side, there is the suggestion of such Powers being Tamed (by a Pillar of Egypt) and a connection with the Roots of the Trees (the greens of the serpent - and surrounding rock). I was also impressed by the variation of the pointillism technique, that's been used to paint/colour the Lava Serpents skin (as this is more akin to transparent dashes - as opposed to solid dots). Lava may be the primordial force of the Ancient Egyptians, yet when it comes to the control of their underground domains, Lava Serpents remain their weapon of choice!
17/02/2015 | Victorian Hawk