Sketch of the week #20: Mask of Marduk
As a little girl, I was enchanted by the idea of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I still am. They seem almost magical because they are so utterly shrouded in mystery and myth. They are considered a wonder of the world, and yet their existence has not even been proven. The legendary ancient city of Babylon has the same, entrancing effect on me and for several years I’ve been thinking of a way to translate that into an Enchanted Doll project.
This is how, around a year ago, the Mask Project was born. These are the concept sketches. The mask is just a work in progress tittle for a doll named Amytis of Media, the wife of a Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd. The legend has it that Nebuchadnezzar built the Hanging Gardens around 600 BC for his wife, who was home sick for her luscious, mountainousÂ homeland of Persia.
The mask head ornament worn by Amytis is a representation of God Marduk, the head deity of Babylon. Like I mentioned before, this mask was inspired partially by ancient Aztec art, as well as early Mesopotamian artifacts. Marduk was a god of judgment and magic and had a water element associated with him. His origins are somewhat unclear, and the information about his physical appearance is pretty much limited to a couple of images of him. My interpretation of Marduk was mainly driven by the sound of his name and the images it stirred in my mind. It sounded aggressive and strong, and when I found that he was a god of judgment, I had decided to give him a somewhat malevolent look, because gods generally possessÂ both benevolence and cruelty in their personalities and acts.
I imagined Amytis wearing this elaborate headpiece in the image of Marduk, as well as other splendid, richly ornamented clothing and jewelry as she strolls through the green, shadowed alleys of the Hanging Gardens, enjoying the relative coolness and listening to the sounds of birds in this artificially created paradise- her husband’s gift to her.
This entry was posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010 at 10:37 pm
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