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Calendar Scrolls: 2002? The Egyptian Goddess Taweret

2002? mixed media, scroll width 12", by Jenny Badger Sultan

Segment of a calendar scroll for 2002? showing Egyptian dancer and the goddess Taweret, by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to enlarge


Taweret, the blue figure in the center, is one of my favorite Egyptian goddesses--part hippo, part crocodile, she protects women in childbirth and guards sleep.

Her image is often worn as an amulet.


The Calendar Grids and Scrolls come from a 3 1/2 year period from January, l999, to June, 2002, where I made an image every day. (I had done a year of calendar grid drawings previously in 1981-82.) It seemed significant to begin this work on New Year's Day of the year before the turn of the century. I was on sabbatical from my teaching job and had more time to devote to my art.

I worked first with the grid, within a 3 1/2 inch format. Each day reflected either an inner or an outer event or a feeling or came out of the work I was doing on a painting. I chose whatever medium appealed to me--watercolor, acrylic, collage, monoprint, colored pencil, caran d'ache, etc. Examples: July and August 1999, January and April 2000.

After a while, the grid structure began to feel very constricting, so I moved to the vertical scroll, where the amount of space I used could vary both horizontally and vertically. Images could also begin to overlap. This whole process gave me an opportunity to draw a lot, explore my range, work in many different materials and do a lot of experimentation. It stands as a visual journal of this time period. Examples: August-September 2000, February and September 2001.

Several years after I had ended the scrolls, I found myself embarking on a series of paintings based on different grid structures--such as the hexagon, the eight-pointed star, the ogee [spindle shape], the pentagon. I had designed many repeated patterns years ago when I silk-screened fabrics. This time I felt that working with these different grids put me into relationship with the art of Islam and the Middle East, an area of the world we have become so very involved with in recent years. Each structure has called forth a different way of working, different imagery, a different feeling. I did not preconceive them but let the process unfold as I went along.

Closeup of calendar scroll from 2002?: the goddess Taweret, by Jenny Badger Sultan
Taweret, the Egyptian goddess of sleep and childbirth
Closeup of calendar scroll from 2002?: Egyptian dancer, by Jenny Badger Sultan
Egyptian dancer leaping over Struwwelpeter

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