At the time I created this piece, I was supporting a friend whose husband was going through a difficult time of anxiety, depression and spiritual struggle. It felt very much like he was up against powers and forces that were fighting to control him; a fight beyond just a medical diagnosis. I remember having these words come into my mind, that he was the battlefield and that my friend was the warrior called to stand and fight on his behalf. I felt God calling me to make a piece about my friend as a warrior, but I didn’t want to make such an image because, as I told God, “I don’t do warrior pictures.” During the weeks that followed, every time I opened the Bible, my eyes would fall on passages about warriors and battle. I eventually landed in Ephesians 6:10-20 and relented to making a piece about a warrior ready for battle.
This piece is a color etching which I printed from one zinc plate, wiped using the à la poupée method of applying various colors to the plate and wiping it to selectively blend or isolate the colors. I then used stencils to roll on layers of colors to the surface of the plate before printing the image on Rives Heavyweight paper.
This piece is directly themed on Ephesians 6:10-20. It was created to be a reminder that when we feel weak, we are strong in the Lord who calls us to put on the full armor of God. It is the Lord who enables us to stand firm in the face of the darkness that vies to control us; a darkness that is beyond what we can comprehend. I also reflected on how often I can run out half-dressed to meet the day, forgetting this or that part of the armor. I wanted this piece to be a sort of visual checklist for all the armor parts – what they are and what they do.
In the image, the belt of truth is actually locked around the figure’s waist. The holder of the only key to truth must lock the belt of truth in place. The breastplate of righteousness is placed upon us to guard the heart, which has been captured by hope. This breastplate is represented as one part armor, one part chain maille and one part fishing net. The heart is protected yet still visible behind or within the net. One of our feet is pierced as we follow Christ into His death and suffering and the other foot is clad in a sneaker. The figure stands on a book that reads, “KNOW THAT I AM WITH YOU.” Our feet are clad with the readiness that comes from the certitude that we do not stand alone. This is the good news of peace, that we stand with and upon the One who has already won and will not leave us. We take up the shield of faith with which to extinguish the flaming arrows of deceit and accusations. The shield has the symbols of the Lion of Judah and a crown on it. The flaming arrows of the evil one are being broken against the shield. We put on the helmet of salvation to guard our thoughts and to protect our memory of whose we are. The Spirit flows through the cup, which is literally the lower half of the face and neck, and into our mouths, giving us the words to speak that are the sword of the Spirit for our defense and which are symbolized by the physical sword slicing through the flaming arrows. Our body, fully armored, takes on the form of a bow and arrow. The shoulders are the bow and the legs, torso and head are the arrow. The whole figure is taut in readiness and assurance.
This color etching is part of a limited edition of prints, which I printed by hand. It is available for purchase and retails unframed for $1000. To purchase my work please go to https://rachel-durfee.com/purchases/
To see my entire portfolio of works for sale, please go to my website https://rachel-durfee.com/ I am available to exhibit, and to give talks and lectures. For examples of my exhibitions and talks, please go to my website https://rachel-durfee.com/media-2/ Interested buyers or those wanting to discuss other opportunities and inquiries, please contact Rachel Durfee at https://rachel-durfee.com/contact/
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