Paraclitus Nobilis (below)
This figure and others like it take approximately one and a half years to complete. Each figure has a skeleton made of jointed wood, a spinal column, a musculature of bound cotton, skin made of silk, and seven chakras (energy centers). Every chakra is a small art piece, small treasures hidden within each figure. The face, hands and feet are modeled of porcelain clay, each individually crafted. The leather and brass suit of armor is all hand tooled. The dwelling for the figure is made of pine, the entirety of which is painted with several layers of a traditional, handmade gesso of rabbit-skin glue and chalk. The outside is then painted with different metallic paints and patinas and sealed with pure beeswax. The inside is covered with a red bole of shellac, and gilded with 23 karat gold leaf. The box is one meter high.
In the long process of bringing these figures into being there is more than technical skill involved. Skill is indeed always needed, but as one can gather from the way each piece is constructed, there is something deeper being evoked.
Image-making was for centuries a sacred act. It still is in cultures that keep these traditions alive. Simply described, an energy desiring form begins to unfold in the materials used to construct the figure. The energies needing to become conscious, both in the maker and perhaps even in the immediate world-at-large, start their slow and steady release into clay, paint, metal. Once finished, these energies are reflected back to the maker to become a more conscious part of the psyche.
As a work of art, when the figure is finished, viewers of the piece can also be touched by the energy the figure embodies, catalyzing that quality in the lives of those who come into the figure’s presence.
About Paraclitus Nobilis
There is a mystery contained within this figure that is understood only through the perception of the heart. He is a prince, a philosopher, a fierce protector of those who cannot defend themselves, a keeper of the flame. His nobility derives from a deep understanding and acceptance of the human condition, of personal and collective suffering. His acceptance is not resignation, rather a deepening and widening of the soul. It is an ability to embrace all faces of the divine, from the mournful to the radiant.
Paraclitus: advocate, defender, protector, helper, comforter (appellation for Holy Spirit)
For any questions or further information about Paraclitus Nobilis, please submit inquiries .
The process of making the images, and the images themselves, were the basis for a research grant received from The Susan Bach Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, which funds research investigating the relationship between psyche and soma.
Research results for "The Inner Figure" course can be found in The Inner Figure: Synchronistic Images of the Soul, a thesis at the C. G. Jung Institute-Zurich, 1997, written by Cedrus N. Monte. [Chapter One of this thesis is available here.] They are also published in Images, Meanings and Connections: Essays in Memory of Susan R. Bach (Daimon Press, Switzerland) which can be found here and here.
For an additional perspective on the significance of dolls and figures, this article by Dr. Geri Olson is enthusiastically recommended. You can also listen to an interview with Dr. Olson on Shrink Rap Radio.
Cedrus Monte, Ph.D. Dipl., is a Jungian analyst trained at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland.
© 2014 Cedrus Monte, all rights reserved