The bronze sculpture Epiphany celebrates the universal and timeless theme of new birth, sudden manifestation, a focus of illumination, simple wonder and the coming together of the essence of the human experience.
Christ to mankind as announced by the three wizards known as the Magi (from which we got the word magician).
But Epiphanies are by no means solely a Christian concept. On the very same day, January sixth, ancient Egyptians celebrated the Epiphany of Aion--the spirit of eternity. Central to the Egyptian celebration was the drawing of water since water drawn from a well or river on that date was held to have special potency--even like age to wine. In Christianity, the water association is retained in the concept of baptism, which symbolizes a human Epiphany. Siddhartha the Buddha achieved an Epiphany under the Bodhi Tree. Merlin achieved his under an apple tree. And mythology is full of tales of sudden insight and rejuvenation. In Greece, the goddess Hebe could make old people young again. Aphrodite transformed people through love into youth. The unifying theme was that through love, old age might be abolished, pains eased, and death denied.
Epiphany as birth or creation also encompasses the artistic process. Any genuine artist's work is itself an Epiphany, the new result of the creative illumination.
In the bronze, Epiphany, the birth of "newness" is symbolized by a half-formed angel rising effortlessly from a cracked and fissured sphere, resting upon the shape of an egg. The egg is a symbol of birth and potential. Throughout history, the sphere, from the Chinese Pearl of Wisdom to the earth itself, has symbolized the extent of knowledge or wisdom, encompassing the whole from which an Epiphany arises.
Epiphany is thus John M. Soderberg's symbolic representation of the event or concept that is perhaps the most eternally and universally cherished by all people: the sudden appearance of a new state of being in which one is given a second chance, a new start. A tribute to hope and faith, to rebirth and renewal, to the promise of forgiveness and love, Epiphany represents the fulfillments of these eternal longings of all people everywhere.