I once read that “the work of an artist who is a Christian will naturally reflect their faith.” As I have worked and grown as an artist, my work has ascertained this statement, regardless of my medium, subject matter, or intention. In my two years at RIT, I have progressed as an artist, writer, researcher, learner, person, and Christian. In my mind, none of these “titles” replaces another; they are all interwoven, necessary parts of who I am. I am sharing my experiences and interpretation thereof through this Thesis Exhibition, and I invite my viewers to enjoy, explore, learn, and grow with me. The bulk of the work in Kataklysmos is inspired by the Biblical book of Revelation. The idea of painting images from Revelation came to me during my daily devotions, a quiet time when I can focus on applications and implications of the Scriptures. Kataklysmos is the ancient Greek term for a deluge; a destructive flood, an upheaval that brings about significant change, an inundation which washes away all pre-existence. I chose the idea as the title of this series because I relate it dually to the apocalypse of Revelation, and the idea of baptism in the Christian faith. In the early chapters of Revelation, I was entranced by the stunning visual imagery and fantastic surrealism the words planted in my mind. Convicted, I simply HAD to create. I know that I am not the first artist to portray Revelation, nor will I be the last. In my endeavors, I have sought to remain true to my Christian interpretation (with artistic license) of the images of Revelation. I intentionally avoid a literal illustration of John’s interpretations of his visions, because that is all they were; his interpretation of something intangibly experienced. I think of my re-interpretation as a refraction of sorts; I am a mirror, reflecting the light and truth of Christ, but imperfectly, as I am imperfect. The title of each piece, as noted on the title cards, contains a figurative title, as well as a Biblical citation. I have included the citations of the passages because, on the pedestal among the paintings, there is a Bible. This Bible has been marked with tabs to take the interested viewer directly to a work-based passage. I do not intend to force views upon anyone, but I hope this Bible will become worn and loved over time, as my viewers leaf its pages, exploring the gracious love of Christ for themselves.
heARTmade by Danielle Burch, Piedmont Community Charter School (Art Teacher)