'COP27 Interventions' are a series of illuminated text sculptures installed by Still Moving in different locations around Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and now permanently installed. The works were made with local Egyptian people, responding in flow to time, people and place. In collaboration as part of Culture COP, and working closely with a fellow artist Fern Leigh Albert.
W OM B T OM B points to renewal of life as a cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Ancient civilisations with pre-patriarchal knowledge systems can remind us of other ways of being and interacting with each other and our environment. OM in Arabic means mother. In Hinduism OM is a sacred sound. It is variously said to be the essence of the supreme Absolute, of consciousness, an invocation of the cosmic world. The syllable is often found at the beginning and the end of chapters in the Vedas, the Upanishads, and other Hindu texts.
W OM B T OM B was installed at the Four Seasons Hotel outside Goals House, a community united in the drive to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Goals House assert that progress can only be made if we work together.
MA’AT shone out at the Sharm El Sheikh Museum. The most exquisite museum full of timeless relics and ancient understanding. On the evening we turned these sculptures on, the Director of the Museum, Mohammed Hassanein described the concept of MA’AT. In his speech he explained:
'The life philosophy in (Ancient) Egypt called Ma'at...means truth, order and justice (all) at the same time...this is what we now call religion, Wisdom.
Ma’at does not differentiate between theology and science or the universe and society or religion and the state. Ma’at is the main conception of philosophy and the Egyptian vision of the social, intellectual and cosmic aspect. Ma’at is considered the right status in nature and society, and was taken and applied in ancient Egypt.
From there to here, turning from the past to the present, after the industrial revolution, the use of fuel and the increase in carbon emissions, we need an ecosystem led by justice: Ma’at, to have chances of sustainable development and to face our crisis.'
To support the shift urgently needed within most of the systems that control our modern consumptive worlds, during COP27, in Sharm al-Sheikh we built a 3 meter Ankh, a key of life. Working alongside local Egyptians and guided by the Museum of Sharm, we built this ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol to represent the word for life. The Ankh is also associated with the word meaning mirror. The symbol often appears as a physical object representing elements such as air or water.
Thank you to Hotel Aida, Fern Leigh Albert, Farhana Yamin, Culture COP, Sam Lee, Julie's Bicycle, Mohammed Hassanein and all those that helped us along the way. Even those we cannot see. Thank you MA'AT