Irina Sumanenkova

Irina Sumanenkova

Mosaic of dry straw stalks pasted on a wooden board

40cm x 30cm


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Tutankhamun (1341 — 1324 BC) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty (ruled 1332–1324 BC). He married Ankhesenamun, third daughter of Akhenaten (formerly Amenhotep IV), a famous radical religious innovator, who put the worship of the god Aten in Egypt. Tutankhamun was nine years old when he became king, but the real rulers of the country were two regents - Ay and Horemheb.

Pharaoh ended the worship of the god Aten and restored the traditions of Egyptian culture and religion. His reign was close to the apogee of Egypt as a world power. Tutankhamun died when he was 18 (or 19) years old. Such an early death can be believed to think it was unnatural. Tutankhamun could be killed by an order of his own regent Ay, who became a pharaoh after his death.

About working process: I was touched deeply by the young Tutankhamun's story of life and sad facial expression of his portrait golden mask. It was obvious for me to choose a material for the creation. What else would portray a gold in a best way, then a dry straw stalks, shining in the sun? As the width of it's stalks is not wide and very long, I cut them to pieces, that would depict some ton - light or dark. Then pasted them, one by one, on a wooden board. That's why you have an impression of some "straw mosaic", when you look at the finished artwork. It took me 1.5 month. This is a unique, one of a kind artwork, because I had never used this technique before, and I am not going to return to it in future. 

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