Foremost of unknown symbols

I’m pleased to introduce you all to my new semi-digital collaboration with amazing watercolor artist and friend Adam Stewart : ‘Myth-X’

Brick dust, acrylics, markers and collages on panel + handmade indigo watercolor paint on paper + digital manipulation.

This artwork reunites mythological elements and symbolic conceptualities within the digital union of two different artistic approaches, generating a well-balanced and stern composition. A character born from classical greek myths of Thanatos and Hypnos, poppy flowers, egyptian deity cat/lion Bastet, ancient Egyptian queen Hatshepsut.

Archetypically speaking, mythological figures in this composition
brings up to the surface our subjective interpretation of symbols we mentally generate and also encounter during our lifetime manifestations.

Sense of duality within each symbol meaning composes its abysmal collective complexity mixed with our more personal and intimate one so It is necessary to recognize a great respect for ancient symbolism and these forms of expression and interpretation of the world that ancient humans had, because they still exist today within us and manifest themselves in ‘X’ terms!

Starting from upper side left ‘Hypnos’ — ‘Hatshepsut’ — ‘Bastet’ — ‘Thanatos’ — Hyeroglyphs on the frontal part of the Lid of the human-form sarcophagus of Ghemnefharbec. Black diorite. Turin museum.

Let’s dive in!

‘Hypnos’ and ‘Thanatos’

Hypnos, in the more classical Greek mythology is generally represented with a wing on the right side of his helmet, which indicates the ability of ‘fly’ in dreams in the sense that, when we sleep, we can consider a side of the brain taking flight (ancient men were not ancient!) Hypnos, in fact represents a symbol of deep sleep, an element in which, Greeks identified a similarity with death, in fact the brother of Hypnos is ‘Thanatos’ who identifies death in itself. The poppies and butterflies were painted by Adam. This element is to tie in the Greek archetypes the twins Thanatos and Hypnos the Gods of Sleep and Death.

left-’Poppy Hypnos’ Right-’Poppy Thanatos

Click the link down here to read Adam’s process 💎


Hatshepsut means, in ancient Egyptian translitteration, ‘Foremost of Noble Ladies’. She is the central face in the composition of Myth-X, and cannot be considered properly as a deity, but being in the Egyptian culture side, let’s say that, the symbolic elements must be considered in a radically different way from those in the Greek culture; in ancient Greece, humans sculpted Gods, in ancient Egypt humans became Gods (pharaohs) and Hatshepsut has the peculiarity of has been the only woman to hold the role of pharaoh and queen, at the same time, during the entire 18th dynasty timeline, becaming a relevant symbol of power.


Daughter of the Sun god, also called ‘The Cat of Rha’, she is portrayed in a completely feline form, in the act of killing the serpent god Apopi with a sharp knife. Serpent Apopi was considered as the most violent and ferocious archetype against human spirit. (Look at the knife on the left side of the painting showing the defensive symbolic element against Apopi, written in Greek) Bastet has a violent side too, ‘Sekhmet’.

I would like to specify that the historical and mythological elements elaborated in this composition represent a symbolic mixture in itself, the symbol X, the unknown.

Symbols are a specific definition for generalistic elements and dimensions of material world’s perception.

Ex. (If Hypnos identifies deep sleep, it means that is a symbol of rest, but also of death.) If Bastet represents the protection against the evil spirit of the serpent, she also identifies the destructive violence of Sekhmet (the two symbolic elements of the Moon according to different aspects of Egyptian mythology and popular European and Western re-interpretations)

Given the complexity of the elements elaborated to develop this work, I end here the introspection in my collaboration with Adam, renewing my happiness for having collaborated with him! We had so much fun with this and the amazing opportunity to know each other on a more personal level.

See you in the next article!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alberto Ballocca

Alberto Ballocca

Italian artist. Ancient cultures passionate, philosophy learner & NFTs creator. Articles in here defines my intellectual horizons and artistic inspirations 🔎