Coptic Obelisk


Obelisks predate the symbol of the cross, but are linked to it, as the vertical pillar of the cross evolved from the single ascent of the obelisk, with the horizontal plane representing mortality (death) and the vertical representing triumph, ascent, life & eternity.

The plasma-cut sheet metal in this piece is based off of Ethiopian Coptic crosses, but is mixed with imagery of birds and vegetation, connecting Jewish imagery with Christian imagery. Ethiopia is an ancestral home to both Jews and Christians, and Coptic crosses often use Stars of David in their decoration.

Revisiting obelisks repeatedly over a period of several years, exploring the urge to ascend psychically, charting the stumbles and failures along the way. The ascent of the obelisk echoes a meditation I learned—based on the Song of the Grasses by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov – that one should ascend towards God in meditation, as a blade of grass grows, with a single purpose, having no other thought of the world around.