Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Church Steeple in Pluto Park

The Church at Piero della Francesca in Turin is quite spectacular. I am not over fond of new church buildings - they seem a bit utilitarian to me. But this one catches the eye. Of course, the structure is the equivalent of a steeple, but a steeple is also a tower. Churches are for the most part "set into" towers. And taking the outside view. the tower seems to constitutes the main deal. You can see them from a long way off and, more often than not, they are the highest points in a small town or village. In symbolic terms they connect heaven with earth. Together with the rubble works and cellar that is often beneath them, they include the Underworld too! This tower is different in that it's set apart from the main building. Standing beside the church in an inviting open space, it also provides a mounting point for exterior bells. It's altogether quite different from what one might expect. I spent a pleasant time there, just walking around and framing images and thinking that this offers a public space so often lacking in church grounds these days. Symbolically, towers are often considered unfinished. They simply don't reach the sky and although the builders can keep trying, they are doomed to failure. In the Tarot card, "The Tower", builders are cast down by a bolt of lightning and the whole structure seems about to crumble. The Tower is an ambivalent symbol denoting the spiritual rather than the material path.