Robert P. Eustace
My recently completed work: “Canticle of the Celestial Night Rose,” is the culmination of a lot of assorted loose ends that were either appropriated or fabricated to create a theoretical and temporal room installation that today only exists in the form of photographic and written documentation. The original piece: “The Celestial Rose / Circles of Sanctity” was created for an experimental limited edition artist’s book of 50 total copies called: “CODEX CIVA” (vol. 1). After a long gestation period of the preparing and choosing and setting aside of various elements - on one cold October night in my garage studio, I set up a temporary room installation and sequentially photographed it utilizing shorter-to-longer time exposures illuminated solely with what I will call a “holy and ritualistic candlelight”. As I proceeded with the entire exercise I gradually became conscious that I was witness to an event imbued with the sacred presence of the LORD. This just happened to occur at the time of Sukkoth, or the Feast of Tabernacles which is a time for thanksgiving, of drinking wine and living in makeshift temporary shelters with others - rejoicing in GOD’S goodness and for the many blessings of the harvest. This occurred in October of 1994.
Ever since that time I have prayerfully longed for and waited for the sacred-artistic “go ahead” signal to be able to finally realize the fully completed form that this piece would take. In the center of the work is a darkened blue metallic rose that is surrounded by an ornate cosmic system of a full setting sun (lower right) with a gently rising and reclining female crescent moon (lower left) - situated just above the rolling clouds. These symbols are bridged together with a procession of hanging stars that serve as still points of time travel and duration from day-to-day and from eon-to-eon. Surrounding that is an earthen field incorporating seemingly infinitesimal concentric circles with circular patterns of musical notes - a song of life’s journey and struggles if you will. Infused in this pattern are diagrams of architectural church plans and symbols of the mystical Jewish Cabbala “tree of life”. The Rose is symbolic of Christ in the Garden, of blood and thorns, but, also the Rose stands for spiritual-physical Israel; the song and concentric circles for the wave of blessing that continues to emanate from Jerusalem to the far corners of the world to this day (through the pulsing circles of sanctity). Taken as a whole, the face of the piece represents the original Garden, the center of the earth (or the lost central threshing floor of the old Temple). While the brownish-black sides of the piece with its overall motif of wild vegetation, layered with touches of gold - represent a doorway to the unexplored open hinterlands of a primitive world.
To finish this piece was made all the more difficult with the year long demise and death of my mother, Roberta (on May 3, 2006). She suffered from ever decreasing lung function and an ever-mounting dependence on machines and other artificial medical means just to live. Needless to say, I really needed to finish this piece in order to have a sense of completion or closure in my life as the darkness of circumstances were pressing around me. I know that on some sort of residual or subliminal level that “encoded” in the work’s latter stages there exists some type of diary form about her. Although at this juncture I probably need more time and distance so that I can see and understand what transpired in the work more clearly.
Lastly, this piece: “Canticle of the Celestial Night Rose”, has become in part - a requiem for my mother, and is dedicated to her lasting good influence and memory.
Saint Eustace Fine Art
Dawn to Dawn... Journeys Through Pain to Freedom
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