context

The bronze sculpture "Saint Johns Pendulum" weaves together multiple approaches to the question of nature.

According to Hermes Trimegistus and the European Alchemists he inspired, the microcosm lives within the macrocosm and vice versa. Put simply, "As Above, So Below" or as in the Lord's Prayer, "On Earth as it is in Heaven" (sicut in coelo et in terra"). Iconographically Hermes Trimegistus is very often depicted with the index finger of one arm pointing upwards and another pointing down.

I believe that it is not without coincidence that Saint John the Baptist is also depicted with the same outstretched index finger. If that coincidence were not enough, the birthday of John the Baptist, the 24 June, is also the Summer Solstice. In modern times and in our large cities, the passing of the seasons, the life and death cycles of nature are often not noticed or even over looked but the cycles and seasons pass despite our ignorance and oblivion. In the New Testament it is John the Baptist who introduces Christ into the world and following the same logic, as the Baptist is born and embodies the Summer Solstice, Christ is believed to have been born on the 25th December on the Winter Solstice.

In the title of the work there is a small grammatical error that reads "Saint Johns Pendulum" instead of "Saint John's Pendulum" and the implication being that there are more than one Saint John. Indeed, in addition to Saint John the Baptist, there is also the Saint John the Evangelist, who wrote the book of Revelations, John the Apostle and John the Beloved Disciple whom sat beside Christ at the "Last Supper" (Some scholars suggest that the last two Johns may be the same). According to Catholic tradition, the feast day of John the Evangelist is the 27 December, just after the Winter Solstice.

Much of my recent work is an attempt to look within, towards the question of nature, my nature. What is my nature and how does my inner nature reflect upon and how is it a reflection of the nature without? "Saint Johns Pendulum" is a bronze cast of my own arm with the index finger outstretched in honour of both Hermes Trimegistus and John the Baptist. The bronze hangs, suspended on a chain, according to the natural laws of gravity, always pointing down. As somebody born into the Southern Hemisphere however, I am very well aware of the fact that whilst the 24 June may be the Summer Solstice in Europe, it is in fact my Winter Solstice. Into my arm I placed rusted nails in the tradition of the Nkondi Fetish figures from the Congo. The Nkondi are protective figures used  to destroy or weaken evil spirits, prevent or cure illnesses, repel bad deeds, solemnize contracts or oath-taking. A shaman would activate the statue, using magical substances and hammer in the nails with each successive ritual. The rusting of the nails is a metaphor and embodiment of the ageing process which is literally the changing of the seasons of our nature's, both within and without. Suspended on a long chain, the sculpture embodies and reflects yet another natural law, that of the Earth's rotation. In the tradition of a "Foucault's Pendulum" the index finger with swing according to the gravitational pull of the spinning earth. The first public exhibition of a Foucault pendulum took place in February 1851 in the Meridian Room of the Paris Observatory. The so called Green Meridian that runs through Paris, through the Pantheon, Saint Sulpice and the Louvre is an alternative longitudinal line to the English Greenwich line.

Kendell Geers 2010

Saint Johns Pendulum

The bronze sculpture "Saint Johns Pendulum" weaves together multiple
approaches to the question of nature.

According to Hermes Trimegistus and the European Alchemists he
inspired, the microcosm lives within the macrocosm and vice versa. Put
simply, "As Above, So Below" or as in the Lord's Prayer, "On Earth as
it is in Heaven" (sicut in coelo et in terra"). Iconographically
Hermes Trimegistus is very often depicted with the index finger of one
arm pointing upwards and another pointing down. I believe that it is not without coincidence that Saint John the
Baptist is also depicted with the same outstretched index finger. If
that coincidence were not enough, the birthday of John the Baptist,
the 24 June, is also the Summer Solstice. In modern times and in our
large cities, the passing of the seasons, the life and death cycles of
nature are often not noticed or even over looked but the cycles and
seasons pass despite our ignorance and oblivion. In the New Testament
it is John the Baptist who introduces Christ into the world and
following the same logic, as the Baptist is born and embodies the
Summer Solstice, Christ is believed to have been born on the 25th
December on the Winter Solstice.

In the title of the work there is a small grammatical error that reads
"Saint Johns Pendulum" instead of "Saint John's Pendulum" and the
implication being that there are more than one Saint John. Indeed, in
addition to Saint John the Baptist, there is also the Saint John the
Evangelist, who wrote the book of Revelations, John the Apostle and
John the Beloved Disciple whom sat beside Christ at the "Last Supper"
(Some scholars suggest that the last two Johns may be the same).
According to Catholic tradition, the feast day of John the Evangelist
is the 27 December, just after the Winter Solstice.

 

 

 

 


Much of my recent work is an attempt to look within, towards the
question of nature, my nature. What is my nature and how does my inner
nature reflect upon and how is it a reflection of the nature without ?

 "Saint Johns Pendulum" is a bronze cast of my own arm with the index
finger outstretched in honour of both Hermes Trimegistus and John the
Baptist. The bronze hangs, suspended on a chain, according to the
natural laws of gravity, always pointing down. As somebody born into
the Southern Hemisphere however, I am very well aware of the fact that
whilst the 24 June may be the Summer Solstice in Europe, it is in fact
my Winter Solstice. Into my arm I placed rusted nails in the tradition
of the Nkondi Fetish figures from the Congo. The Nkondi are protective
figures used  to destroy or weaken evil spirits, prevent or cure
illnesses, repel bad deeds, solemnize contracts or oath-taking. A
shaman would activate the statue, using magical substances and hammer
in the nails with each successive ritual. The rusting of the nails is
a metaphor and embodiment of the ageing process which is literally the
changing of the seasons of our nature's, both within and without.

Suspended on a long chain, the sculpture embodies and reflects yet
another natural law, that of the Earth's rotation. In the tradition of
a "Foucault's Pendulum" the index finger with swing according to the
gravitational pull of the spinning earth. The first public exhibition
of a Foucault pendulum took place in February 1851 in the Meridian
Room of the Paris Observatory. The so called Green Meridian that runs
through Paris, through the Pantheon, Saint Sulpice and the Louvre is
an alternative longitudinal line to the English Greenwich line.

 

 

Kendell Geers 2010

 

 

references