I had gone to Berlin, without a clue in the world what was going to come of this project. I felt very worried, concerned, mopey and very un-inspired toward my project, and I was worried that I would still be left feeling this way even when I came back from Berlin. But luckily for me I wandered into the right place and the tables turned for me.
When I first went to Berlin in November 2012 (it was cold then, but nowhere near like this year) I had found my way on to Museum Island, where I tottled into The Neues Museum. It was beautiful and took me by great surprise. I wandered around for hours, my eyes glazing over all of these incredible artifacts, mummies, tombs and jewelry that they have managed to preserve, doing a little sketch every now and then. But when we visited then, it wasn’t for any particular reason. It was to explore, and the Illustration group were given a set list of 30 tasks to complete.
This time when I went into The Neues Museum, I was an open book, a blank canvas. And honestly, I kinda headed in there just to kill some time; I didn’t want to sit around or go shopping. As soon as I walked in I felt like I was seeing it all for the first time, it was magical. From the floor to the ceilings. My my, the ceilings! It was all so wonderful, and I had this urgency in my legs to run around and see everything yet this calming and almost freeing sway in my eyes that my time let me take my time to absorb everything I passed by. There was peaceful but quite eerie atmosphere about the place, and something quite unnerving about staring at a Pharoah mask straight in the eyes. I won’t lie, part of me was hoping something similar to Night at the Museum would happen..
There were two main collections in the museum. Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung gives the public insight into the continuities and changes that occurred over the course of four millennia in ancient Egyptian and Nubian cultures. The exhibition starts with the history of the collection and of Egyptology itself. From the display of portrait heads of various kings, the exhibition leads to the Berlin Green Head, illustrating how sculpture progressed as an art form, before coming to the three chambers of offerings dating from the Old Kingdom that bring to life tomb architecture and relief art. The tour ends in the Library of Antiquity, containing a selection of texts and literary works taken from the culture of writing that stretches all the way from Ancient Egypt down to late antiquity.
I learnt a lot while I was here and I didn’t want to stop learning. What seemed to amaze me the most is the colours that managed to remain on some of the artifacts they preserved. Such beautiful colours!
What also caught my eye were the Hieroglyphs. How facinating?
At this point I knew that I wanted to keep this, go through with it and follow it right to the end, and my gosh was I excited! I wasn’t able to pin point a specific aspect of the Egyptians that I wanted to focus on, but I knew I was willing to find it out. Which felt lovely.