That Man May Be, is an extension of a previous series of low relief panels I sculpted Titled, White Fruit. Just as the figures in the White Fruit panels are meant to represent all of us (sons and daughters of Adam and Eve), so to are the figures of Adam and Eve seen in That Man May Be. The composure of Eve, the angst of Adam represent all of us in a way; They are the ultimate archetypes. Difficulties and decisions that can feel like a choice between life and death face all of us.
The split second event, I imagine the plucking of the fruit from the tree causing a lighting shock through the universe. An action that would set into place the need for the Atonement (another action) which caused "the Heavens to be veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned". (Moses 7:56)
Adam and Eve’s moment of action also caused a quickening that would end their innocence, a kind of rebirth, into mortality. They would now bring sorrow, suffering and death to not only themselves but to all humanity. Fortunately, there is also hope which is why I scribed the symbol into the backgrounds of the pieces.
The symbol: there are symbols within the symbol. Firstly it is a stylized lotus flower. Anciently the lotus was understood as a symbol of resurrection. that motif can be seen in some LDS temples. More recently it is seen as a symbol of the Christian life. The Lotus flower is beautiful flower that grows above murky waters. We are taught to live in the world but not of it.
The lotus flower is within a half circle. I like to look at that as a rising or setting sun, speaking to the work of redemption commencing as paradise is lost. The dawning of a new day, life and death, and speaking to the age we live in… The last or latter days. There are right angles referring to priesthood power at the helm of it all
The vertical line that runs up the center of the flower and into the branches and its fruit is a reminder to always look upward to keep out thoughts heavenward.
43 x 32 in. each