Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rose Circle, Part II

The art exhibited at the Rose Circle's conference was omnipresent and unforgettable. The architecture that surrounded us in the Chapter Room; the paintings and prints showcased by the artists, and the precious wares of jeweler extraordinaire John von Blauch threatened to overstimulate the eye.

But that's a good thing.

David Lindez's art is described:

Via oil paintings, drawings, mixed media and photography, artist David Lindez explores the subtle, Hermetic moments of exchange in humanity that are taken for granted by those immersed in them, but are nonetheless majestic in their confirmation of the Divine. David also seeks a synthesis of sensual expression, the divine feminine countering the pure masculine, dance and the Sacred Space, the incommunicable beauty of sensuality and consensual alignment, moments of ineffable and sacred, pristine purity communicated visually much like the Christian Mystery’s use of symbolism to express the misterii alitoris of the baptized after initiation.

Whether he is presenting a research paper at a Masonic gathering or showing his art, David creates custom work uniquely for the occasion. I can attest to the newness of the work above thanks to the fresh paint Steven and I found on our hands and suits as the painting was carried upstairs and set upon a pair of easels in the Chapter Room!

Then there's Tamara Nikolic. Here she is with Cliff Jacobs.

A native of Serbia, Tamara came to New York 15 years ago and fell immediately in love with it. She started her artistic road as an icon painter, and her style expresses the images with unique ethereal and subconscious qualities. Nikolic has participated in four group exhibitions in New York and New Jersey, and three solo shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Two of her icons are exhibited in the Museum of Biblical Arts in Dallas, and her work can be found in many private collections throughout the world, from St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, to Ireland, Germany, China, Serbia, France, Mexico, and across America. Most recently she created the "Visionary Tarot," a 78-card Tarot deck, which is the result of her love of Tarot art and Alchemy.

I had to promise Tamara I would not publish too many photos of her work, and to refer you instead to her website, but I'd be guilty of dereliction if I didn't provide some form of proof of her artistic prowess.

Tamara is married to Stevan Nikolic, a Past Master under the Grand Lodge of New York who is the editor-in-chief of the new periodical Freemasons Press. The couple has collaborated; Tamara illustrated Stevan's books "The Royal Art" and "The Peace of the Rose."

Among the many brethren who traveled from abroad to be with us was W. Bro. John R. Von Blauch of a GLNF lodge in Madrid. If you know who he is, you won't be surprised to hear he brought along samples of his professional work: court jeweler to King Juan Carlos of Spain (and other European royals).

This beauty, in the hand of Sterling, is a jewel of office in a European order.

This photo does not do justice to these jewels. To hold these items and feel their heft; to behold the luster of the gold and the iridescent complexity of the enameling was really wonderful. These ain't from a mail order catalog.

And I should make clear there is more to John's family business than very important regalia. He also brought a number of stunning examples of elegant necklaces and other adornments made of various rare and gorgeous gemstones.

And then there is the Chapter Room itself. There is the amazing Egyptian Hall at the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and its "little brother" at the Allentown Masonic Temple, but in Manhattan there is the glorious Chapter Room. Grand Lodge explains:

This is the only room in the Hall that was restored, not renovated. That is, it was thoroughly cleaned and the existing color scheme was enhanced but remained essentially as it has been over the years.

The theme is the Kingdom Period of Egypt, in symbolism and motif. Terra cotta colors predominate, with some use of flat enamel and dull gloss paint. This room was thoroughly researched at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the Philadelphia Masonic Temple, which also has an Egyptian Room.

One of the outstanding features, besides Egyptian art symbols, is the sculpted cobra snake figurenes, which line the four walls. This room is used by the Royal Arch Mason Chapters, and the East has a non-Egyptian archway that plays a role in these degrees. Four ceiling-to-floor drapes in different colors divide the room into sections for the Royal Arch Degree.

I'm still gathering my thoughts for Part III, which will explain some of what our three brilliant lecturers presented from the podium. In short order these papers will be uploaded in full to Rose Circle's website for the edification and enjoyment of its members. If you have read this far, you probably are the sort who would benefit from Rose Circle membership. It is not necessary to be a Freemason, Rosicrucian, or a member of any other order. All are welcome!

1 comment:

BlackEagle said...

You can get a better feel for John's work as a jeweler for various Orders here: