H.R Giger's Egyptian Mysteries

leading from 
 H.R Giger's Black Room, Egyptian Burial chamber,
on the third floor of his parents' house at Storchengrasse 17, Chur, 1958

(source,  WWW.HRGIGER.COM (book) p9)
a) H. R. Giger in his artwork has often used ancient Egyptian themes and ideas, and some of these he brought into the concept work for Alien, many of which can be found as illustrations in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. His keen interest in such Egyptian imagery can be seen on the decorations of the wall of his black room (above) where he used to hold parties and play with his band as a teenager. In the centre of the photo is an image of the God Ra holding a was-sceptre




b) Giger found inspiration in Ancient Egyptian art from an early age. When he was about six years, every Sunday he went to the civic museum in Chur and in the basement with the amputated hands and feet they kept a beautiful mummified body of what he believed was an Egyptian princess and her sarcophagus. Perhaps this was actually the mummy of Ta-di-Isis, a woman who was found to have died approximately middle aged, dated back to the 26th Dynasty ( around 650 BC) and came from Thebes-West and her mummified body that is known to reside in the Rätisches Museum of Chur today. Giger noted that she had an old smell and it fascinated him and those memories became an inspiration for him when he start to draw and use the airbrush. Later when he held a show in the museum of Chur, he was to present the mummy as something that inspired him. In ancient Egyptian ancient, death was an important part of the culture and they would present it in the form of mummies etcetera. The way he did his portraits was typically Egyptian as well, in the way they presented a view from from the side and the front. So the Egyptian style was something that he considered part of his way of expressing through art.







In the final design for the Space Jockey, Giger was able to incorporate elements of the Seker./Sokar funerary barge.
  






ii) The Goddess Nut
In his work for the Alien Life Cycle Hieroglyphic tableau, he incorporated the image of the Goddess Nut.  
 In his early design for the Facehugger, he incorporated the idea a pair of pliers in the creatures mouth to open it's victim's mouth up inspired by the idea of tools used for opening the jaws of the mummy up to allow the soul into the body for the reanimation rite

 


iv) The Embalming Ritual

Giger's painting Necronom IV which became starting point for the final adult alien creature, but where did the idea for the thing spring from. While it's composed of ideas that he developed over time, one can see that it incorporates elements from depictions of the ancient Egyptian embalming ritual images.





v) The Necronom's Leonine shoulder
The strange rounded shoulder of the Necronom IV displays a likeness to those in the Ancient Egyptian's depictions of lions







vi) Vestigial remains of the Eye of Horus
Giger's Necronom IV backpipes when the painting is flipped over become the upper eyeline and eyebrow of the eye of Horus







vi) Was-Sceptre, the head of the alien?
The general form of the head of the Necronom IV looks inspired by the general form of the stylised head of a was-sceptre


source quotes
  1. HR Giger: An existence better never begun. Many of my works reflect this state of hopeless enslavement which leaves no room for religious beliefs. My childhood memories of the civic museum in Chur also belong within this context. There Egyptian mummies were exhibited along with amputated hands and feet. (Giger ARh+)
  2. Vincent Castiglia- - Co uważasz za źródło największej inspiracji?
    HR Giger- Starożytnych Egipcjan. Gdy miałem ok. 6 lat, co niedzielę chodziłem do muzeum w Chur. W piwnicy trzymali tam piękną mumię. Miała stary zapach i to mnie fascynowało. Później, gdy zacząłem rysować i używać airbrush, tamto wspomnienie było dla mnie dużą inspiracją. Potem postarałem się, aby na mojej wystawie w muzeum w Chur była mumia egipskiej księżniczki i jej sarkofag. W ten sposób chciałem ludziom pokazać, co mnie inspiruje. W sztuce egipskiej jest dużo śmierci – w mumiach, czaszkach etc. W mojej twórczości też. Poza tym sposób, w jaki robię portrety jest typowo egipski – przedstawiam widok od przodu i z boku (Tatuaz #28, May 2008)
    Google Translation-

    Vincent Castiglia--What do you think is the biggest source of inspiration?
    HR Giger
    -- Ancient Egyptians. When I was about six years, every Sunday I went to the museum in Chur. In the basement there kept beautiful mummy. She had an old smell, and it fascinated me. Later, when I started to draw and use the airbrush, those memories for me was a big inspiration. Then I tried to make on my show in museum in Chur was the mummy of an Egyptian princess and her sarcophagus. In this way, I wanted to show people what inspires me. In Egyptian art is a lot of death - in mummies, skulls etc.. In my work, too. Besides, the way I'm doing portraits is typically Egyptian - present the view from the front and side (Tatuaz #28, May 2008) 
  3. Vincent Castiglia--Co byś poradził artystom szukającym własnych środków wyrazu? HR Giger-- W dzisiejszych czasach jest o wiele trudniej znaleźć swój własny styl jako artysta. Wydaje się, że każdy styl, każden punkt widzenia w sztuce został już przez kogoś zutylizowany. Gdy byłem młodszy, nie było telewizji ani internetu. Dzisiaj media propagują i rozpowszechniają wszystko. Już nie ma co odkrywać. Ja sam np. zaadoptowałem styl egipski i nie wiem, co innym pozostało?! Wszystko już było. W komputerze i w sieci są pewnie możliwości odkrycia czegoś nowego i znalezienia innych stylów. Ja nie mam pojęcia o komputerach, więc może ktoś inny coś tam nowego wypatrzy. (Tatuaz #28, May 2008) Google Translation-
    Vincent Castiglia- - - What would be your advice to artists looking for their own means of expression?
    -HR Giger- Nowadays, it is much harder to find your own style as an artist. It seems that every style, every point of view in art has already been disposed of by someone. When I was younger, there was no television or Internet. Today, the media promote and disseminate all. Already there is nothing to discover. I myself, for example, I adopted Egyptian style and do not know what else is left? Everything has been done. The computer and the network is probably the ability to discover something new and find other styles. I do not have a clue about computers, so maybe someone else will spot something new. (Tatuaz #28, May 2008)

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