Friday, October 17, 2008

The Obelisk of Axum


                        The Spirit of Axum


This drawing is one of the pieces displayed from the Axum series at the new Black Sheep Coffee House on North Cliff and Benson. This new Black Sheep will be a permanent place for my pieces.




            Axum, or Aksum, is a city in northern Ethiopia named after the Kingdom of Aksum, a naval and trading power that ruled from the region ca. 400 BC into the 10th century. The kingdom was occasionally referred to in medieval writings as “ Ethiopia”. It was the centre of the (eventual) Christian marine trading power the Aksumite Kingdom, which predated the earliest mentions in Roman era writings (around the time of the birth of Jesus) in good correlation to the expansion of Rome into northern Africa, and later when it developed into the Christian kingdom, was a quasi-ally of Byzantium against the day’s Persian Empire. The historical record is unclear, primary sources being in the main limited to ancient church records. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims to possess the Ark of the Covenant or tabot in Axum. The object is now kept under guard in a treasury near the Church or tabot in Axum. The object is now kept under guard in a treasury near the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, and used occasionally in ritual processions. But versions of the Aksum

tabot are kept in every Ethiopian church, each with its own dedication to a particular saint, most popularly Mary, George and Michael. It has been plausibly suggested that the claim that the Aksum tabot is the real thing.


            These paintings were done under the inspiration of the Byzantine Art period. Also, it was inspired by the return of the after 71 years from the Italian government or the Obelisk of Axum. This awakened a strong nationalistic movement in the Ethiopian people. This is why it is like a new period art for me as a an artist. It's funny because The Italian Government thought it a victory after stealing it from Ethiopia. This would be the equivelent of us taking the Mona Lisa from Italy and rejoicing over it. It does not make much sense. However, the reason why I chose this concept is because I believe it is crucial to understand and express my roots that are apart of my artistic identity. I used many elements in this series including the 300 B.C architect movement which I took this and started to incorporate it into my artwork progressing it into a new level and perspective. Most of the paintings are based on Christian symbolic elements that are mixed into my paintings creating a language in art form. This form has layers that build on each other to convey a message to the inward parts of a human soul with the use of symbolic religious elements. There are many more religious pieces on the site.

For more information go to