VISIONARY REVUE


      His painterly obsession with the powers of Nature must be understood, ultimately, as a turn toward Pantheism. His earlier Hermetic works struggled with the dichotomy between ‘above and below’. An intense dualism prevailed between spirit and matter, soul and flesh. The Gnostic approach was to renounce earth and flesh, and transcend them through knowledge of all that is ‘higher’.
      Pantheism, by contrast, recognizes that the gods are everywhere and present in all things. They are immanent, not transcendent. The Sacred manifests itself in the earth, in the flesh, and in all forms of growth. Such an outlook harkens back to earliest pre-history, and has manifest itself over time in archaic Fertility rites, ancient Mystery religions, and European Paganism.
      By rendering all these ancient rites in paint, Johfra offers us once more the images of our forgotten beliefs. His rich symbolism evokes their mysteries, and enjoins us to experience the Earth once more as sacred and alive.
      In the later Pantheist works, the invisible powers that flow through Nature still appear in spiralling vegetation or swirling clouds. But, more fascinating still, they now take form in human figures as well. Some of these are ancient deities, like the primodial Earth Mother with her cup, or 'the Horned God', be it Pan, Pluto, or Cernunnos. Others are their acolytes, the priestesses and witches who celebrate the ancient rites.



 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003


WITCH'S SABBATH I (1977)

      Most of all, we see swirling masses of naked figures rising and flying into the sky - who embody the invisible forces that flow through humanity as whole.
      In such a vision, Nature is the greater power, emanating through man as she does through all living things, uniting them all in her greater cauldron of Life. Moving now through a selection of Johfra’s Pantheist works, Nature’s invisible forces will gradually appear before our eyes.




 
 
 


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