So I finished this piece a while ago: “Fruit of the Spirit II” is the title, I guess; it’s 19x24 inches, made by poking holes in paper with a bookbinding awl.
Bart and I have been thinking about ways of displaying it with some sort of backlighting. I think that would be cool!
Here are some of my thoughts behind it.
This is one interpretation of “illuminated manuscript” I’ve been thinking about recently- a literal interpretation.
There are a few characteristics about God and the Bible that have drawn me to creating images this way: The word of God is alive (Hebrews 4:12); God is beautiful (Psalm 50:2); God created the world and the universe and it follows an orderly pattern. The description of Scripture as being alive and God’s beauty and sovereignty spurred the idea to make images out of the individual parts of the text. In their symmetry and complexity they resemble snowflakes, flowers, microscopic organisms, galaxies; they are orderly without being static; they tumble and spin. With the added light, they glow like stars and other sparkly things (sparkly things!).
It is not immediately obvious that the shapes are words, but I think the intricacy of the piece may draw people in to explore it and try to figure it out (I strive for this in all my work). In a sense it forces the viewer (this is all hypothetical, since the only viewer other than myself to see the actual piece is Bart) to engage with the image because its meaning is not immediately apparent; we are also invited to engage with God and Scripture, to search them and to think about them.
As an artist who is a Christian, I want to present the Bible and the Gospel in a new way, focusing on the characteristics above: life, beauty, order. Because I don’t really enjoy drawing things “realistically”, and because I’m not really an abstract person either, and because I do love to use text as image, this seems like a good method for me.
I would be so, so honored if you left comments about this piece. Please feel free to ask questions and critique it. People rarely see anything I do if it isn’t a commission, and although Bart is super thoughtful and insightful in his observations and ideas, I would love input from others as well.