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Axis Mundi

In 2008, Jean received a commission from a close friend, Heidi Sparkes Guber, to create a piece about their long friendship. Three years later, the result was a sculpture – two bronzes, interacting with each other, but each able to stand on its own as a complete piece. The two women explored their lives in terms of all of the meaningful teachings, symbols, and what they shared with their married lives, their children, and mostly what they aspired to: a world of wisdom, beauty, love, health and balance.

The first of the eight in the edition has been cast, and is shared between the homes of Jean and Heidi who abide within a community in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They have established this arrangement in keeping with the spirit of the original concept – it has become a kind of icon for the original inspiration – their relationship and all that it encompasses.

Upon completion of the commission, Jean has launched the Axis Mundi Project. It is a plan to fulfill the entire casting of eight bronzes and dedicate them to strategic locations around the continent, representing what she has termed as “Guardians” in these locations to help fulfill a vision of uniting the North American Continent through an act of art.

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Axis Mundi:  

(1) Axis Mundi is Latin for “center of the world.” More specifically, it connotes the connecting axis between the two opposite sides, or facets, of a world. It signifies the connection of opposites, the intertwined nature of opposing forces and elements: quiet and loud, dark and light, aggressive and passive, masculine and feminine, yin and yang, etc.

 (2) The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar and center of the world) is a symbol representing the point of connection between sky and earth. It offers means of travel and correspondence between the two realms. It is also the place where the four compass directions unite, allowing treasure from heaven to be disseminated throughout the world. This places it at the center of the world: the world’s point of beginning.