As a predominantly kidlit illustrator it is my calling to create, as much as is possible, images that lead young girls into freedom, self-esteem and acceptance and away from jealousy, comparisons and impossible standards of beauty. I ended up tossing my original version of this piece which featured a young girl as this was a story I knew I needed to tell from my own point of view - one that puts me in the dialogue and calls me to accountability as well. I hope every woman can find a version of themselves in the crouching warrior deciding to lift the sword.
The central themes of this work are centred around verses 10-12 "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power". By relying on God and his power and choosing to align ourselves with his authority we can recognize and conquer the true evil that seeks to destroy our lives. This work shows the siege and destruction of the "Altar of Beauty". The altar is symbolically represented by a tailor's tape, used by women to measure their body dimensions, laid upon a treacherous climb to the grave.
God's army is shown on the right both in the black negative space, pitted against the grave on either side of this altar and in the symbol of the dove who has already begun the destruction and un-masking of the god Beauty in the sacrificial work of Jesus.
The god of Beauty is shown as a young woman with piercing eyes, and dripping hair of blood. The hand of death grasps her temple to symbolize controlling thoughts and reveal her true master.
The crouching figure in the foreground is the personification of the end of verse 17, "and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." She is a reminder to myself to continue to make the choice to daily pick up the word and fight. Being strong in the Lord is a choice, and I will not let myself be overwhelmed by a culture which dazzles and yet provides nothing but empty struggle and certain failure at the altar of beauty.
And finally, I hope the triumph of this work comes through. Destruction of the altar is eminent as her very image is being evaporated by the light of Jesus, the dove. As the end of verse 13 states, "Then after the battle you will still be standing firm." This is my prayer for every woman who sees this piece.
Lana Lounsbury - Artist
Signed prints are available in a limited run on paper (8x10 unframed) as well as giclee on stretched canvas (11x17 unframed). Quotes can include framing, matting (paper prints only) and shipping. Quotes upon request by email.
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