The Ankh Within by Ron Sterling, 1972


      "I am sure Simon Rodia had no idea that the support and connecting rods between two of the tall towers were formed in the shape of an 'ankh.' The Ankh is a symbol that is also known as breath of life, the key of the Nile or crux ansata (Latin meaning "cross with a handle"). It is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that meant "life." It is often interpreted to mean eternal life.

      Egyptian gods were often portrayed carrying it by its loop, or bearing one in each hand, arms crossed over their chest. The ankh appears in hand or in proximity of almost every deity in the Egyptian pantheon (including Pharaohs). It is also widely used as a symbol of early religious pluralism: all sects believed in a common story of eternal life, and this is the literal meaning of the symbol. The New Age mysticism movement in the 1960s utilized the Ankh to symbolize the same tolerance of diversity of belief and common ethics as it did in Ancient Egypt."

        Watts Towers (The Towers of Simon Rodia, Watts, Los Angeles)

      Watts Towers by Simon Rodia is a complex set of 17 separate sculptural pieces built on a residential lot in the community of Watts. Two of the towers rise to a height of nearly 100 feet. The sculptures are constructed from steel pipes and rods, wrapped with wire mesh, coated with mortar, and embedded with pieces of porcelain, tile and glass. Using simple hand tools and cast off materials (broken glass, sea shells, generic pottery and ceramic tile) Italian immigrant, Simon Rodia spent 30 years (1921 to 1955) building a tribute to his adopted country and a monument to the spirit of individuals who make their dreams come true.

        Thank You for Visiting!

                 Best wishes! Ron Sterling

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