Jarbindu Creates The Underworld - Atomhawk's 'Forgotten Creation' Competition

“The world to me was a secret, which I desired to discover; to her it was a vacancy, which she sought to people with imaginations of her own.”
– Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein

This is my submission to the Key Moment category for Atomhawk's 'Forgotten Creation' competition 2022. The spark of this idea came when I considered the word ‘creation’ as a verb - an act or a process, instead of imagining an object. And how would a process of creation be forgotten? - if it was part of an ancient story. And so I came up with the idea of the creation myth of a forgotten civilization. The quote from Frankenstein nudged the idea towards the Gothic so I focused specifically on the creation of the Underworld and also took reference from Gothic architecture. The book also provided a reference to the Prometheus myth (the subtitle of the novel Frankenstein is The Modern Prometheus).

The Myth
Jombarah was the creator and king of all the known lands but he was a merciless ruler and his people despised him. His son, Jarbindu, led an uprising and usurped his father, injuring him fatally. Jarbindu was now king and his people loved him but as time passed he became wracked with guilt over the death of Jombarah. He traveled to the Gods and begged them to grant him the power to create a life beyond death but one by one they refused such an affront against all things natural. In his desperation, Jarbindu turned to Brivandah, the
Goddess of Envious Deeds, whose jealously of the kingdom of men was no secret. Seeing an opportunity, Brivandah gave Jarbindu the power he sought. But Jarbindu was deceived and in bringing about life after death he also created the Underworld, a land where the spirits of all who had ever died would be trapped, never to rest, forced to serve their new Queen for all eternity.

Final image submitted to Atomhawk.

Final image submitted to Atomhawk.

This is the development of the idea from research to rough sketches before moving to Photoshop for the painting.

This is the development of the idea from research to rough sketches before moving to Photoshop for the painting.