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"The Harbinger"
2ft. x 2ft. Oil, Gold Leaf on Baltic Birch

In this piece a man, the harbinger, is standing on top of a red rock cliff, encircled in small blue flowers. He holds a scroll and a scale as he parts his robes, revealing a sash adorned with small circular structures. He gazes at the viewer as the sun pierces through storm clouds, filing the field behind him with soft light.

A harbinger is a messenger who foreshadows what is to come. The scroll in his right hand depicts the apparently finite life cycle of a plant, from seed to sapling to flowering and finally death. In his left he holds a scale weighing blue flowers, a metaphor for the judgment of one’s soul. However, in parting his robes, the harbinger reveals a deeper truth depicted on his sash. In this image, the small blue circles represent cells regenerating into more complex structures, suggesting a life cycle far more continuous, if less perceptible, than the one depicted on the scroll, and one unbound by ethical consideration.

The composition and background weather have symbolic significance. Light bears down on the harbinger’s right hand and the scroll depicting a plant’s physical stages, from birth to death. In his left, where the sky is darker and almost stormy, he holds the scale containing the soul of the plant. In ancient esoteric symbolism, light represents the physical body and earthly realms, whereas darkness represents the astral plane and the dwelling place of the soul.

The fringes on either side of the robe, one dark gold with a thin stripe of light green, the other light green with a thin stripe of dark gold, recall the ancient yin and yang symbol. The separating of that symbol reveals the sash, a mirror into one’s own immortality and the base structure of material and spiritual existence.

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