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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Meet The Ancients

The obsidian-dark profile of Tanethep, an Egyptian woman dead since the second century BC, gazes sightlessly over my head. I am in a darkened room at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, one of 12 linked rooms and alcoves filled with obscure treasures from across time.

How strange to venture from the bright light of the national capital into such an arcane world. Being in Canberra is like inhabiting a David Hockney painting, with its immaculate, china-blue skies, clean, stark buildings and well-behaved waterways. The wide-open, shadowless capital seems an unlikely route to take to the underworld of the ancients, and making even more rarefied this glimpse into the realms of the long-dead is that the exhibition, Egyptian Antiquities from the Louvre: Journey to the Afterlife, comes from that Parisian temple of high art. Full Story

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