MERMAID - WAVE RIDER
strong, vibrant, dynamic,
riding the bow wave,
she will guide her beloved ship
and crew safely home
lifesize 5x4x2 feet $14,800.00
macquette (@3/8 life) 23x19x9 inches $1750.00
Once upon a time, and a very long time ago it was.
There was a fertile valley, through which flowed a great river whose ebb and flow alternately enriched and
exposed its protected floodplain. And the people and their gods prospered. Though they still ventured up on the savanna, they
were becoming ever more used to deriving all their needs from the valley, and therefore became quite settled
As the plateaus were experiencing ever increasing desertification, with the resultant influx of wanderers
into the lush river valley, the valley people were approaching the carrying capacity of their fertile refuge. And then
A GOD WAS BORN
Well, several actually, and just in time too. On the first day Osiris (whose death and resurrection were annually
celebrated with alternate sorrow and Joy) was born and a voice rang out proclaiming that the Lord of all had been born. On
the second day Nut was delivered of Horus the elder, on the third, Set (Typhon?) on the fourth, Isis and on the fifth, Nepthys.
They were a mix of somewhat anthropomorphized latter-day Titans and the new breed, who, rather than representing certain aspects
of nature represented more closely, adaptation and utilization through control and manipulation of the environment. Unless,
of course you subscribe to the euhemerists1 view, but that's another story. The difference being great, conflict was likely.
Their mother was of the sky and their father the earth. Because of Nut's infidelity with the earth god Geb, Ra, the supreme
sky God (much like Uranus' treatment of Ghia and the Titans), refused to allow these children to be born "on any day of any
month." But Nut was not to be put off so readily. She gave birth to her many children on the 361st-365th days thereby adding
5 days to the '1old" calendar of 360 days.
Oh happy day(s).
Anyway, our hero's gifts (most of the latter-day gods and some of the titans brought them) were wine and beer
the vine and the grains. Thank you-YES! Or should I have said Goddess/heroine, as many credited her with gathering the grains
together and presenting them to her lover. So, gifts in hand, our friend taught the valley people the arts of sowing and reaping,
brewing and fermenting and there was great Joy throughout the valley. In his fullness the god went without the valley to share
these gifts with other peoples in other lands, much as the winds and birds might have scattered the seeds, and well, what
with the stories and Joy and local abundance, interregional trade was revitalized and there was great Joy throughout the lands.
As you might guess, Osiris was riding on a wave of love and adoration. Meanwhile his brother, Set (a true
nature god) was looking on in Jealousy and perhaps with no small amount of sibling rivalry, and he felt no Joy. SO
He fashioned a beautiful sarcophagus precisely to Osiris' dimensions and, at a banquet of the gods, offered
it to "whomever it should fit". The young gods were delighted, and in their giddy Joy they tried it on for size each in his/her
(Balder) turn. And one at a time they were disappointed. Then, our incredibly naive hero had his turn, and, not surprisingly,
it was a perfect fit. When SLAM went the lid as 72 of Set1s accomplices (72x5=360) leapt out from hiding and sealed our hapless
God inside. They then carried him down to the Nile and tossed him in. SO, coffer, dying God and all, floated down the river
and out to sea, and (or so he thought) out of Set's life forever. With his competition out of the way, Set, who had come to
represent the upper-southern part of the valley, was free to rule from the sea to the cataracts, and beyond. And the storms
raged. And the sphinx was eroded by the resultant flood, but that's another story. Anyway...
The casket floated out on the vast waters and up the eastern coast of the Mediterranean until it came to rest
(on the shore of Byblos?). "Here a fine Erica tree shot up suddenly and enclosed the chest in its trunk." The king of the
country, admiring the growth and aroma of the tree had it cut down, dressed, and fashioned into the central pillar of his
private chambers, all the while unaware of the seed-god inside the chest inside the tree. Meanwhile Isis finally noticed that
something was missing...What could it be...no, she had seen that with her aunt Buto, goddess of the north,... well then what
could it be...when suddenly she exclaimed I KNOW I've not seen Osiris for quite some time (not since the last harvest, anyway).
Now where could my beloved brother/husband have gotten to? And she began to call to him and, hearing rumors of his mishap,
wandered disconsolately up and down in search of the body. Osiris, for his part, also began to call to his beloved (probably
in a low earthy voice like the deep undertones you might hear in the forest when the wind passing over the canopy causes the
trees to sway gently in one of natures myriad dances). And Isis following the paths of the waves and the wind came to her
Now...how to approach him in the inner sanctum of the palace? She couldn't Just wander in and announce that
she was a goddess come out of Egypt in search of her husband, and well, she believed him to be in the central pillar of the
palace, and so if no one had any objections, the wrecking crew would be here in the morning, and tree, sarcophagus, and husband
in hand she would be on her way, and thank you very much. Could she? So she watched, and listened and waited. And she found
that the Queen had recently been delivered of a son. So she applied for the Job of wetnurse to the infant, and what with her
godly charm, poise, and appearance, she landed the Job handily. Now she was in the inner sanctum all-alone with the prince,
and her husband and his coffin and his tree. But now how to proceed? She was as confused and anxious and uncertain of a course
of action as ever. So she would change into the shape of a hawk (the same guise which she used as the protector of the pharaohs
and of Egypt itself) and flutter about the pillar lamenting her plight and that of her husband. In the interval, she began
to feel a great love for her charge, such that she didn't want to lose him to the transient exigencies of mortality. So she
decided to make him an immortal. She could do this through a slow process of placing him in the fire for ever longer periods
of time until, by gradually burning away his mortality, she, and the fire had made him over as immortal. Although not quite
as expedient as a dip in Styx, through the narrow approach to death, this treatment is apparently equally as effective. (Please
don't try this at home, as the intervention of a Goddess is necessary) But alas it was not to be. One day as the child was
lying in the flames and Isis was fluttering about the pillar, the queen came in, and seeing her child in the flames of the
hearth fire screamed long and loud. Isis, the spell broken, rushed to withdraw the child from the flames as quickly as possible
and thereby saved his life (if not his immortality). Try as she might, Isis could not calm or quiet the distraught queen,
and soon the whole household was there and the king was demanding an explanation, and well this was getting embarrassing.
SO...Isis shared the whole story with her (and her husband's) hosts. The king, realizing that he was in the presence of a
god (and having a more Grecian view of these things), insisted that Isis have her husband back, the sooner the better. "Oh
no", she responded, "but what about your lovely palace? I just couldn't." "Palace schmalace," retorted the king "this is your
husband, and his tree, and his chest, and I beg of you to take him and any help we can offer to see you safely home. Please
don't worry about my humble dwelling; I can always build another as trees we have in abundance, of erica and cedar and olive
and others so, Please, Go With God." And she did. And there was Joy throughout the land.
Alone at last with her dead husband Isis tried to resurrect him. She tried and she tried and she tried, but
the task was too great. She did succeed, however, in bringing one small part of her late lover to life, and so while she hovered
over him in the guise of a hawk, she conceived their son Horus--Horus whose fame, and that of his mother was eventually to
eclipse that of his father, the dead and resurrected god of crops. But that's getting ahead of our story. So Isis, pregnant
and triumphant, returned to her delta home, where she gave birth to Horus of the winged disk, whose symbol can be seen as
far afield as the middle east and sub-Saharan Africa, and as Horus the one eyed, permeates mythologies to the 70th parallels.
Wisdom advised Isis to hide her son from his murderous uncle of the storms until the time was right for him to (in his turn)
grow to maturity and mastery of their valley, so she took him to Butu of the delta for her to hide and nourish and protect.
Meanwhile, Set, having heard of Osiris' return, made haste to find and destroy him. Like a great flood, he swept down the
valley in search of his prey. And, finding him in his coffin abandoned by Isis (who had gone to seek Buto) ravaged him like
the storm scatters seed, and severed him into at least fourteen different pieces and scattered them throughout the valley.
Upon her return Isis was understandably upset, and sadly set out once again to find her lost late husband, piece by piece.
During this search she perfected the death chant which would be used by countless generations of Egyptians mourning their
dead. "Come to thy house...come to her that loves you..."Then Nepthys Joined in the lament, and the two sad sisters raised
their voices to the sky. Their lament was not in vain as Ra was moved to pity, and sent Anubis and Thoth and Horus the elder
to help. Together they assembled the pieces of the broken body of the murdered god and swathed him in linen bandages and mummified
him. They then covered him in clay and performed other rites and Isis "fanned the cold clay with her wings and revived him".
Resurrected once again, Osiris was made the God of the underworld, lord of eternity, and king of the dead by Ra. The sacred
bulls Mnevis and Apis were dedicated to him, and it was decreed that all Egyptians should worship them as gods since these
animals had helped in the discoveries of grain and in its sowing and reaping, and Osiris' spirit was believed to animate them.
But Osiris was not happy. He so wanted to ride in his father's sun chariot and feel the warm wind on his face. And he was
in the dark and cold and his sorrow grew and he lamented his fate and he wept long in his loneliness.
Meanwhile, Horus had been growing, and learning and gathering his strength. And he and Isis and their companions
and followers held the delta safe and their followers prospered. As his power grew, Horus gathered about him a great army
and set out to subdue Set of the storms. This civil war of gods and men raged throughout the valley. Sometimes Horus fled
wounded as Set pursued and attacked, and sometimes Horus pursued Set as they fought for mastery of the valley from the delta
to beyond the cataracts. In one battle while Horus and Set were fighting desperately with each other and the valley was trembling
from their fury, Set poked out one of Horus' eyes. Horus though, managed to cut off Sets testicles. (Horus is generally believed
to have won this battle). So now, with both gods seriously wounded, they broke off the fight and retreated. Horus, aware of
Osiris' lamentations, carried his severed eye down to his father's kingdom and humbly presented it to the sad God. Remember
that these are Gods and the eye was as magical as were they. The magic of this eye was in its affinity with the one that remained
with its former host. Whatever the one, Horus had saw, the one that Osiris now had would see as well. So as Osiris assumed
Horus' eye and Horus returned to the land of sky, Osiris saw the light.
Oh happy days.
Osiris now freed of his melancholy, and aware of events of the outer world, summoned his powers and, through
the offices of Isis and her followers, did all he could to help their son. No mean feats here. They channeled the valley and
used the floods, which they could not control. And as the battle between Horus and his uncle raged, with each succeeding flood,
the valley soil got richer, the crops got taller and the people grew stronger. Until, for all practical purposes Set was controlled,
and so defeated. And Horus the one eyed, was invited to ride in Ra's chariot and through the various rites of passage grew
to take Ra's place, or rather-attained to Ra, and oft, for sheer Joy would in his mothers guise, fly through the heavens with
the sun on his back, and Osiris shared in his delight. And there was Joy throughout the land. And we mortals represented this
with the winged sun disk. But these are other stories for other times.
Artist1s note: ISIS rising from her dream of OSIRIS with the conception of HORUS
In crafting a representational piece for this (these) legend(s), I was unable to satisfy my vision of Osiris
with a more common representation of the Apis side of Osiris' physiognomy without negatively impacting the appearance of Isis,
so I took recourse to license through modification to a hint of mammoth, by using tusks instead of horns, which, incidentally,
rounded out his face quite nicely, don't you think?
I hope this doesn1t bother you too much.
Sincerely, Rod Patterson
Let's end the tyranny of the "art" of alienation and get back to classic beauty.
"I believe that art has a moral responsibility, that it must pursue something higher than
itself. Art must be a part of life. It must exist in the domain of the common man. It must be an enriching, ennobling and
vital partner in the public pursuit of civilization. It should be a majestic presence in everyday life just as it was in the
(If I emulate the masters, it is out of respect.)-Rod Patterson
|ISIS by American figurative sculptor Rod Patterson
|figure sculpture ISIS rising from her dream of OSIRIS was the 1st of Rods mythofigurative pieces
ISIS rising from her dream of OSIRIS
with the conception of HORUS.
2 views 70" x 25" x 38"
available in cast $28,000.00
or bonded bronze $15,800.00
ISIS above HORUS and OSIRIS below
|figure sculpture ISIS view of OSIRIS and HORUS
|OSIRIS and HORUS see story at left by Rod Patterson American figurative sculptor
|Mythofigurative sculpture of ISIS, OSIRIS, HORUS
|ISIS et.al in the clay by American Figurative Sculptor Rod Patterson