Animals in Antiquity - Vol. I

2021

 

My fascination with animals began at a really young age when I started collecting artefacts representing animals from different times and places. Over the years, I have collected painted pottery, clay sculptures, carved stones, and sculptures in precious metals representing animals.

 

The selection we offer to your attention spans different cultures and chronologies. Domestic and wild animals are presented in it, along with mythical animals and animal gods. A variety of media is represented as well, with the only fil rouge being the endless and timeless fascination of human beings for the animals living around them.

 

These artefacts stand as a testament of the unending human-environment interaction on this earth and how important it is to cherish and preserve it. Ever since humans first started drawing on cave walls, the animal world served as an endless source of fascination. Since humans developed the capacity for symbolic thinking, various ancient cultures have felt the need to represent the world surrounding them in an attempt to make sense of all its beauty and variety. The desire to assign symbolism to animals inhabiting landscapes I believe connects human cultures across time. Depictions of animals in art remind us not only of themselves, but also of the qualities and traits we assign to them. Artists depicting animals cast bridges across divides of human vs non-human interaction, enabling humans to reconnect with the landscapes they inhabit.

 

During this last year, many of us have had a chance to reconnect with nature and admire the beauty of the world we inhabit. This collection encourages the viewer to pause and reflect on how nature permeates our lives and manifests itself in daily and ritual objects. The objects show the meaningful relationship between man and nature, which I have tried to make sense of in my art and through the artefacts I have collected.

 

We hope that these artefacts will be of interest to you as much as they have been to me.

 

Fayez Barakat

President

 

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