Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Please knock

There are many door knockers like this but there was something that drew me across to this one. Perhaps it was the reflection of the church opposite. Or maybe it was the brass, dulled a bit with its patina not altogether removed by polishing. The paintwork lends a kind of impressionist look to the reflected building and it gave me a sense of familiarity which is always reassuring. So maybe its the alchemy of brass that's driving the image. Brass shares the symbolism of bronze and both are copper alloys. Copper bonded with zinc, gives us this solid, lustrous substance brass, which is powerful, even violent, due to its composition of symbolic opposites. Copper is thought of as fire and zinc (like silver) tends to be associated with water and the moon. Bells are made of brass and of course they are sonorous, booming out across cities. Tibetan singing bowls are also made of brass and for the most part, brass (like bronze) is a sacred metal. Here on the door though, I think it is a symbol of power and strength. It's not a jolly, welcoming door knocker. It's rather a big, robust and probably expensive piece of kit. The knocker doesn't have to be a circle, but in so many cases of door knockers, it is. Its presence on the door makes up a circle within a square. This dynamic possibly suggests a change in status levels - but symbols are so ambivalent, we would have to examine the original set of circumstances of the door!