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Hiding in the Landscape

2011, acrylic on unstretched canvas with openable flaps, 26.5 x 35" , by Jenny Badger Sultan

Acrylic painting with flaps, titled 'Hiding in the Landscape' by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to open flaps and see hidden figures.


This painting is an experiment to see how an interactive painting might work. In this desert landscape, each flap hides an inhabitant. Click a flap to see who you may meet.

SERAPH
The seraphim are the highest order of angels in Judaism, Christianity and Islam; they are angels with six wings (the name means “burning”). I had seen and drawn one of the seraphim in Aya Sophia, the Byzantine church/mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

ANUBIS, THE JACKAL GOD
Anubis is the Egyptian jackal god who supervises mummification and guards the desert cemeteries. He is sometimes shown as a man with a jackal’s head or as a crouching jackal and is black.

SERPENT
The serpent is an ever-present symbol for me, with a multitude of meanings, from life, energy and rebirth, to ancestral knowledge.

SCORPION dreamed November 22, 2010

A man that I know has found a scorpion. He is carrying it on a wooden block. I ask to see it and I take it into a swimming pool. I lose hold of the block and it floats away. The scorpion floats off the block. I feel terrible and try to retrieve them. I ask someone "Please get the block", and I search the water for the scorpion. It seems a hopeless task--it is so small and is almost colorless. I go around the pool searching.

After a while I get the idea to look in the ledge at the edge of the pool where the water laps in and debris is deposited. I find various old leaves and also some insects. I see one, reddish, that could be the scorpion. I go find the man and ask “You know what happened to the scorpion?” and he says yes. I continue, “Can you come and look at this edge area and see if this is the scorpion?” I hope that together we can find it.

SNAIL MAN
Snail Man--I am very drawn to the composite creatures that are so much a part of many cultures, so here is my own. Snails show up in my dreams--their slow, earth-bound movement and their spiral form are important to me. Acrylic painting with flaps, titled 'Hiding in the Landscape' by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to open flaps and see hidden figures.

MULTICOLORED DEAD HOUND
Also from a dream (November 19, 2010). I am watching as two dogs fight. They are big hound type dogs with muscular bodies. One is golden beige in color. The other is a bit bigger and is multicolored. The multicolored dog is subdued and killed by the other and is lying on the ground, I think its head has been bitten off but I can’t quite see where the head should be.

SELKET, THE SCORPION GODDESS

Selket, the Scorpion Goddess, is an Egyptian guardian deity. She was also invoked in spells to cure poisonous bites and stings.

PELICAN
My favorite bird. In legend, it nourishes its young with blood and water from its own breast. In Christian iconography it is seen as a symbol of Christ. I found a dead pelican at Ocean Beach and brought it home and buried it in my yard so the organisms in the soil could eat the flesh. When I dug them up about a year later the bones were beautifully cleaned. I have attached some of them to a mask, where they rattle together and make a lovely sound since they are hollow.

PANGOLIN
an extraordinary animal who showed up in a dream. Lately I have been distressed to hear how pangolins are being poached and shipped to be sold as meat and medicine.

SAD MAN WITH WINGS
I really don’t know where this one came from. Maybe a fallen angel.

HARPY
Related to my dream of the pigeon with the head of Queen Victoria

SCARY MONSTER
this one feels like one of the fears of childhood, the creature under the bed, the monster in the closet.

SPHINX BABY
Because even sphinxes start small. A very fleshy young one. Seraph Anubis the Jackal God Snail Man Serpent Scorpion Tired, pale hound Selket the scorpion goddess Pelican Pangolin Harpy Sad Winged Man Reptile Sphinx baby Seraph Anubis the Jackal God Snail Man Serpent Scorpion Tired, pale hound Selket the scorpion goddess Pelican Pangolin Harpy Sad Winged Man Scary monster Sphinx baby

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