Creation of man from clay is a recurring theme in different world religions and traditions. And in ancient Egypt that creator was Khnum the Ram. One of the earliest ancient Egyptian deities and god of the source of the Nile, Khnum used the slit and clay brought by the annual flooding of the river and its water to create people using a potter wheel. He then placed them in their mothers’ wombs. He also molded the other deities, thus becoming “Divine Potter” and “Lord of created things from himself'”. Despite his gigantic mandate, Khnum comes across as an accessible and down to earth deity, quite literally. His symbol is the ram, a domesticated animal, potent and fertile. He uses the same materials and tools that mortal potters use. He is family: people call him the “Father of Fathers and the Mother of Mothers”. Not only he is a creator but also a protector, helping people during their lives as well as in the kingdom of the dead. He also lends a hand to other deities, like Ra – the Sun god – assisting him in his nightly travel through the underworld on the Solar Barque.
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Malakoot Art Gallery
Dina Shalaby is a Russian-Egyptian visual artist focusing on modern art inspired by Ancient Egypt.
Having always been at the intersection of two opposite worlds, be it cultures, creeds, values, or expressions – harmonizing differences has become a way of life. Regardless of the what and where, she always perceived herself as a bridge and an interpreter.
After a long journey of trying to find acceptance for contradictions within oneself and others, she finally stumbled upon that Holy Grail, and it turned to be right here, home, only a few millennia back.
To this day, Ancient Egypt remains a mighty master in the realm of tolerance, harmony and acceptance where duality is not only tolerated but glorified as the motor of Life. This was the door through which Dina embarked on her art journey a few years ago.
Dina has an infatuation with materials that were extensively used by Ancient Egyptians, especially cartonnage / papier mâché, gold leaf and papyrus. She also loves creating digitally enhanced replicas of her handmade work.
Dina held two solo exhibitions in Cairo at Fabrika Media & Arts Center in March 2019 and Nout Art Gallery in October 2020. She took part in five group exhibitions including in Nut Art Gallery, Luxor Art gallery (Daughters of The Nile, Nov2019) and Nun art Gallery (Jan 2022, Feb 2020). She also shares her art through her online platform www.malakoot.art