Sculpture by Ross Matteson
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ã1991 by Ross Matteson bronze 23 x 10 x 2 inches private collection
While visiting the Middle East, I spent several days in and around the old city of Jerusalem. The strong and historically rooted love which is felt by Moslems, Jews and Christians for this religious home, inspired me to start working on a design that would combine the primary symbol of each monotheistic religion into one balanced logo.
In my work Jerusalem's Dove, the resulting logo takes on a higher and lower meaning. The higher meaning for me is that there is really only one God and that this omnipotent creator is good. Also, that this "Life" power will protect the dove. The Father / Mother will protect the wholeness and goodness of creation, including the dove which represents peace, harmony and health. The ideal Jerusalem (not confined to a location) is safe, because God has also created the falcon qualities which include spiritual strength, purposefulness and beauty. This immortal view is typified, at the human level, by an assurance of God's nature, not a mere hope for it.
As a falconer, I am often faced with the "human level", life and death aspect of the dove / falcon relationship. The lower meaning of "Jerusalem's Dove" is that the "One God" logo now represents only Judaism, Christianity and Moslem. It expresses the crying need for people represented by these three human institutions of religion to take responsibility for healing the long standing mental and physical conditions of inharmony in Jerusalem. I have only hope, that in this lower meaning, the dove will pass the vertical threshold before the falcon (which represents uninspired animal nature) strikes it down.
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[photo credit: Ross Matteson]