Khu en ua
"Take her home..." 18 inch diameter acrylic on walnut board
"Take him home..." 18 inch diameter acrylic, gold leaf on walnut board
Lately, I've been doing a series of hawks. When I first started I was presented with 5 circular pieces of Walnut veneer that my friend Dave gave me. They are 18" in diameter, and I thought the size would be perfect for raptors, hawks to be specific. I came up with some designs, got them laid out and started painting them. Then I started thinking about them. What is their significance? Why hawks? Well, we've been having visits of hawks to our front and backyard, lately. They are an important part of the ecosystem, they are beautiful, and a bit menacing at the same time. That's always intrigued me about them. Same with owls. However, that wasn't it.
With everything going in my city, Louisville, KY, I am angry, and saddened. I was painting the Cooper's hawk while Breonna Taylor's jury verdict came in. No justice has been served. No peace will be upon us, and the killers get away and will continue to kill innocent lives.
I picked up one of my favorite books, Barbara Walker's ,"The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects" I immediately looked up hawk. The hawk was considered the embodiment of a passing pharaoh, and during the funerary ceremony a hawk would be released to represent the pharaoh's soul flying up to heaven. Although Horus is the the more well- known Egyptian hawk headed god, there is also a lesser known Egyptian god who is a hawk headed Charon (steersman or ferry man) leading souls to the other side after they have passed on the river Styx. The god's name is Khu-en-nua.
I had this image of Breonna's soul in the form of a hawk flying free and above the chaos that is below while I was painting the Cooper's hawk. Then I started thinking of George Floyd, and imagining his form as a hawk as well.
After I read that passage, a poem started to form in my head.
"Take her home, Khu-en-nua, for she did not know she was a Queen."
"Take him home, Khu-en-nua, for he did not know he would touch the world."
When I arrived at my studio later that day, the poem started to take more shape and two more passages popped into my head.
" Down below, Khu-en-ua, what do you see?"
"Up ahead, Khu-en-ua, are your services in need?"
I imagined the souls of the dead being able to see more than what we can see, because we are so embroiled in it right now. I also ask the question, "If nothing changes then who will be next?