By Joy BC
Solid 18ct yellow gold.
Hand carved and cast in the ancient lost wax method 18ct yellow gold. The Goddess of warfare and healing, Sekhmet is depicted as part human, Part Lioness.
The premise of this work, which is part of my Metamorphosis series, is that when you put on the golden lioness skin, you transform into part lioness, part human. Psychologically, talismans have been used for centuries as ways of mental transformation. Many stories throughout history depict hero’s wearing animal skins to be empowered, for example Alexander the Great with the lion helmet or Hercules and the Golden Fleece. The Egyptians believed that the lioness was the greatest hunter, which, in part is true. It is the female lion that does all the hunting, cub rearing, yet it is predominantly male lions which have been depicted in artworks as the fiercest and most powerful.
This piece is a modern interpretation of an ancient sentiment. I carved it whilst in Kyoto, Japan. The tiny carved paws on the reverse are also evocative of the detail in Netsuke. Often in the Netsuke (traditional men’s sash toggles) the underneath was carved as well and the front, thus creating a personal and intimate dialogue with the wearer.