Sepulchral: A Journey in the Necropolis by Ellen Rogers: The Muse


For quite a while now, our forever-lovely Ellen has been brewing something really extravagant for our eyes. This time, she imparts with us the pulchritude of her favourite inspiration: Hana, her muse. Read on and be mesmerized.

According to the oxford English dictionary a muse is a noun, a woman or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.

This is just one mere branch of the meaning this word holds. The dictionary also explains its origins and the 9 presiding goddesses governing over individual facets within art and science in Greek mythology. It also expands on its connections to thought and pondering but this one definition seems to be that which is most apt as a form of inspiration for me and you the artist.

So with in Greek mythology it is implied that she was once was a distant idea, a goddess who was all seeing and knowledgeable. Not corporeal, as I know Hana to be. Not someone on dull earth who you might talk to about salads or yoga. She was an entity so removed from society that she might have lived many ranks above the sky, she might have even been a work of fiction. You could not touch her, kiss her, hold her; you could only be inspired by her, learn from her infinite knowledge. She was in essence the vessel that you could pour your creativity and thoughts into.

In the ‘White Goddess’ by Robert Graves he goes into great detail about the muse and her relationship to the arts (specifically poetry) and explains that a women’s place is echelons higher than the meagre artist (or poet as he writes) and that she should refrain from attempting to write ‘as an honorary man’. I wonder what he might have thought of female photographers, especially ones inspired by other women.

It seems to be a relatively new idea that female artists can express and be taken seriously and it seems the idea of having a muse has always been the territory of a male artist or intellectual. Goddess worship at its roots seems to be a male stronghold.

Photos of Hana

This is Hana in my latest shoot of her, those familiar with her, will know that I have, when called upon, described her as my muse. I have many muses, but Hana is to me what a car is to a driver or a gun is to a marksman, an extension of self, the woman who I express myself through in a failure to be able to use myself.

I feel rather ashamed that it took so long for women to be taken seriously as artists in western society, that in the past we might have been looked down upon if we declared a need to express and have a muse. Even today people ask me if I find it hard as a female artist and at times I am made to feel rather embarrassed by small minds who ask pryingly why I photograph women this way. As though it could be impossible for seemly heterosexual women to see beauty and inspiration in the female form and that somehow I might only be using them for extortion or exploitation in both my personal work and my commercial work. So let it be known that I am inspired by women and Hana is my muse.

This is a short film by Prizme documenting our recent shoot:

Please also see the work of Susu Laroche for images with her muse Reba.

Read more of Ellen Roger’s Sepulchral series. Know more about Ellen Rogers on her Analogue Lifestyle feature, Instilled with Lustre and Wonder.

written by ellenrogers on 2011-06-27 #lifestyle #ellen-rogers #sepulchral-series


  1. emkei
    emkei ·

    i love your work !!

  2. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    it looks like a dance between the two - very nice and great photos

  3. ellenrogers
    ellenrogers ·

    Thank you guys! X

  4. freckleface
    freckleface ·

    Inspiring and Beautiful..

  5. j_robert
    j_robert ·

    beautiful photos

  6. dminilover
    dminilover ·


  7. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    beautiful photos

  8. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    These are very evocative images - really good. (And the photoshoots on your website are fantastic too!)

  9. laurasulilly
    laurasulilly ·

    Beautiful images! I also watched the short film and I noticed that your camera seems to be "blurred" in order not to be recognized, is that so? I'd love to know which camera(s) you use just out of curiosity, but I read in another article that you don't like to answer questions about your technique, which is fine of course, but does the camera involve the technique? I'd be happy if you'd be willing to give some hints, but if you prefer not to, I totally understand and I hope I'm not being rude in asking anyways :)

  10. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Nice photos, excellent video. I'm interested, too. What camera in video?

  11. stephanie_maks
    stephanie_maks ·

    Wonderful photos and article. I really enjoy the dreamlike quality of the images.

  12. tmia
    tmia ·

    Insanely beautiful!

  13. kayweller
    kayweller ·

    only aware by her sense, she just adorable

  14. stonerfairy
    stonerfairy ·

    Wonderful classic shot!! Double thumbs up actually!

  15. lomoteddy
    lomoteddy ·


  16. lomoteddy
    lomoteddy ·


  17. jonasatarao
    jonasatarao ·


  18. nleppa
    nleppa ·


  19. frantisek
    frantisek ·

    Love it!! Love it!! LOVE IT!! :o)))

  20. antibiotyx
    antibiotyx ·

    stunning images.
    do you consider yourself a feminist?

  21. darlim
    darlim ·

    nice. :) i like :)

  22. reneg88
    reneg88 ·

    this is wonderful.

  23. laurenmcg1229
    laurenmcg1229 ·

    She is beautiful, as well as the photography. Excellent!

  24. ellenrogers
    ellenrogers ·

    So so so so so, thank you, your guys are a lovely group and so encouraging! I have had a rough ride this week and seeing your comments makes me smile so wide!

    Camera, umm I knew this might be a bone of contention, I deliberately asked Prizme to blur it as I love mystery, and I am in love with it in fact. I feel connections to secrets, to intrigue to ‘the tease’ to a myth. I live for such desires and they are never telling or crude or deflated. They only breathe depth that might underwhelm. I hope you understand and I hope you too have secrets also. They are the fuel for creative fire in many many ways.

    As for feminism, Indeed, I am an advocate for female rights, for equality and for worshiping female strengths and traits not wishing to stop them from doing anything they wish to do. Many feminists believe pornography is degrading, but I believe it to be empowering, that eroticism is to be embraced by both men and women and to stop them from doing such acts is deeply oppressing. I should also point out that many of the women who appear in my images nude or semi nude ask to be so.

    As for Hana , the muse, never did I see such a beautiful woman, and never will I again. Thank you again friends!

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