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The Copper Hand from the suite, Alchemical Doors for C.A. Meier1992
Ann McCoyBorn in Boulder, Colorado 1976
Medium/Technique: Lithograph with gold, silver, and copper leaf
Credit Line: Gift of the artist
Accession Number: 2022.2-3
Not on display - Available to view by appointment
Commentary"The Alchemical Doors represent four possible paths to the development of the soul:
The Golden Child is not meant as a Christ figure, but is the divine child that exists as a potential in all people. Sometimes this inner light is snuffed out through childhood trauma. We all need to connect with this divine possibility which is part of us all. The child represents possibility.
The Silver Goddess is the divine feminine. She is Aphrodite, positive Eros, positive human relationships and love. Both men and women need to find this goddess within to help them develop their potential for love. This silver goddess is surrounded by water, the flowing part of the psyche which breaks down our rigidity.
The Copper Hand is our “hand we have been dealt,” our fate and our potential. The lines on the hand represent our life. Here we are presented with a meditation on how to take the fate we have been given and transform it. The copper tub is a symbol of baptism. In ancient Rome, the “hand of the mysteries” was a bronze hand representing a person’s life in the mysteries.
The Androgyne represents the union of the male and female, called “the mystical marriage.” Both men and women must find the counterpart, their other half within themselves before they can relate to the opposite sex in a profound way." - Ann McCoy
Ann McCoy’s investigation of Alchemy as a symbolic representation of spiritual transformation was enriched by more than a quarter-century of work with Dr. C. A. Meier (1905-1995), psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s main successor and Director of the C.G. Jung institute in Zürich, Switzerland. Jung likened analysis to the process of transformation as described in alchemical texts, which describe the goal of the Great Work as that of transforming the base elements in matter or man into a higher state of being. The Alchemical Doors, which the artist executed as a tribute several years before Meier’s death, are rich in alchemical symbols that appear throughout her work – including the butterfly and the snake, both symbols of transformation, the egg, a symbol of creation, and the rose, symbolizing completion and perfection.