On Wednesday 29th July we opened our doors to the public to see Mark Wogan’s work — please see our earlier article for details of who Mark is, and about his work.

Over 120 people visited Jordans to see the art. At several points in the evening the room was crowded, the wine flowed, and visitors asked a multitude of questions. The guests’ favourite painting was the sky goddess Nuit (left), with the cow and the hare in level second place.

Mark told a number of visitors the story of Nuit, explaining the Egyptian mythology that underpins the image, and how his version has ‘westernised’ the original images from the last century and given the pantheon a modern and contemporary look and feel. This is the story of Nuit in Mark’s own words:

The idea for the painting came out of several trips to Egypt that I’ve been lucky enough to make over the years. When you visit Edfu — which is south of Cairo – and look at the ceilings in the Temple of Horus, you see the starry goddess Nuit painted in blue by the Egyptians around 3000 years ago. She is also depicted in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, on the tomb walls. From those images came my realisation that Nuit was the sky goddess back then, and she continues to be all around us all the time in the form of the sky now, and will endure as long as the human race does. This is why I painted her for a 21st century audience. As the ‘Queen of Infinite Space’ to the Egyptians, her arched, naked body is an abstract representation of their sky all those years ago, and that is our sky today.’

The portrait of Bernard the Bear attracted its own specific audience of bear lovers, and a number of conversations were had that covered visitors’ own bears, their habits, likes and dislikes, where they liked to sit in the house, and so on. Bernard attended the event in person and there were numerous comments about what an excellent model he was, as he sat so still – unlike his human model counterparts!

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