Anastasis (Up-Rising)

This was inspired by Orthodox depictions of Christ post-crucifixion, descending into Hades (or Hell, depending on translation) and resurrecting humanity overall, usually shown visually in icons as him grasping the hands of Adam and Eve rising out of coffins, and stepping on a skeleton. The message of these resurrection images are to represent Christ triumphing over Death, rising up and taking those with him out of death and into life as well. In my personal artistic interpretation, I consider resurrection as a rejection of not just the physical fear of Death, but of oppressive ideologies and structures that kill, steal, and destroy–homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, racism, imperialism, the list goes on and on. In Resurrection, we are not doomed to continue living in that kind of Death, but we are raised out of it.

I also was thinking about Christ/God in general and the breaking and transcending of binaries both in creation and in Christ’s personhood itself. While I understand the context, historically and societally, for why Christianity is very patriarchal, heteronormative, and binary, it amazes me to look at the source texts and traditional theological concepts and see so many examples of binaries being transcended and expanded upon. The spirit of God that flutters over the waters in Genesis is described as a feminine-gendered word, God refers to God’s own self with both male and female comparisons and experiences, and Christ is commonly understood in Christian doctrine as “fully God and fully human.”  Even for Paul, notorious for his words being utilized to uphold such binaries, his takes on theology emphasize the formation of covenants and social structures that attempt to defy the expectations of the Roman imperial world he lived in, as imperfect as it might be. Returning to Genesis, the repetition of spectrums in Creation emphasizes God’s expanded dominion, both between and outside the points used to describe them— day and night–but also, twilight, dusk, and eclipses. Land and sea–and the marshes, tide pools, and brackish spaces. Birds and fish–and bats, whales, and lungfish. Male and female–and everyone in humanity who exists within, between and outside of those labels.

I am especially fond of the traditional depiction of Christ situated within the Mandorla. It’s a beautiful artistic and abstract device that I think conveys the mystery and tension, but also beauty and wholeness, of Christ existing in a space that is both earthly but also divine, and I wanted to do a take on it in my own style as well.

(links to resources and inspirations below, please check them out!)

Keep reading

This entry was posted in tumblr blog. Bookmark the permalink.