Dotted around a museum filled with ancient Egyptian relics can be found a very modern take on an ancient religious art form.
Ancient Egyptian shabtis were figures placed in tombs, to work for the deceased in the afterlife, but the ‘Nu’ shabtis assert their freedom, taking their own choices for life.
The exhibition by artist/archaeologist Zahed Taj-Eddin of Egyptian Faience is of around 80 examples of modern shabtis, some shopping, some protesting, some simply enjoying themselves.
It’s a rare sight to see what is a form of modern art that is also almost exactly identical to the ancient form as well and then displayed amongst the older versions. Mobile phone in hand and some dirt aside, they are impossible to tell apart.
The exhibition also forms the final part of Zahed’s PhD studies, and he was awarded his PhD on Thursday evening.
Sadly, only on display for a few days, the exhibition closes tomorrow (Saturday) at the Petrie Museum in central London.
The museum is open 1-5pm and is free to visit.