The Right Hand of God
Napoleon Garden, Holland Park
Zone 4 - High St Kensington
Ilchester Pl, London W8 6LU, UK
18 June - 30 August | dawn to dusk
The Right Hand of God by Konstantin Benkovich
The artist reinterprets the established religious iconography of the right hand of God, widespread in Jewish and Christian iconography from Late Antiquity to early Middle Ages as a symbol of God’s intervention in the affairs of the world. It also served as symbol of divine omnipotence. In Dura Europos Synagogue mosaics, the right hand of God signified the divine acceptance of the offered sacrifice or even the voice of God himself. It was also a place of refuge for the righteous, the persecuted and those threatened by their enemies.
The sculpture represents the right hand of God, typically shown reaching down from the sky. However, here the artist conflates the traditional right hand iconography symbolising mercy, presence, omnipotence and judgment of God, with apocalyptic imagery of the Giving of the Seven Bowls of Wrath (Revelation, 16: 1-16). In this way, the benevolent right hand of God also becomes the hand of judgment for the evil-doers. It metes out judgement and protects those suffering from injustice.
According to the artist, ‘Today, as never before, humanity is on the brink of the third world war and the nuclear apocalypse is looming close, threatening self-annihilation. It becomes our personal duty to read the sign and prevent the approaching
The project runs as part of the Bird & Carrot art residency initiative. With special thank you to Catherine Loewe, our Art Trail Committee 2022.