This assemblage depicts the spiritual battle using layers of symbology and colour contrasts. It functions not only as a decorative stand piece, but as a holder for Bibles or other books. As part of its lightweight design, the piece was constructed manually using cardboard pieces and overlaid with collages of paper and plastic of contrasting shades. The centralized linear contrasts reflect the stand off between good and evil, as is a core message in Ephesians 6:10-20.
Title: Battle line Stand at the Crossroads: A Soul’s Canvas
As evoked by the title, this sculpture art piece depicts the spiritual battle standoff at multiple levels using layers of symbology. The artwork depicts a contrasting story of what this ‘battle’ constitutes. The story is inspired by the reality of the final outcome of the fierce battle between good and evil that started in earthly terms in the Garden of Eden by the serpent (Genesis 3), and the final outcome of this battle which started at the cross, with Jesus’ sacrifice (Matthew 27).
The central portion of the sculpture consists of a circular piece which is divided into a contrast between darkness on the left hand and light/purity on the right hand. This circular piece represents the earth and the sharp central division of the colour contrasts simulate the battle line between these two worlds. At the centre of the battle line is a symbol, the portrayal of which serves multiple purposes in the storyline. Upon first glance, the central portion of the figure has the appearance of a ‘stick figure’ with arms outstretched, with some items above and below his figure. This layer of meaning represents the personal internal battle faced by everyone on earth. This figure however, is made of elements which upon close inspection is a pictorial form of the Greek Word ‘ἵστημι’ (English letters: histemi), meaning to ‘stand’, as used in the original language of Ephesians 6:13. The use of this ‘word figure’ captures the core message of the piece of ‘standing’ firm in the midst of spiritual warfare. Each letter on the figure was also used symbolically. The ‘ἵ’ functioned as a helmet (representing salvation) above the next three letters ‘στη’, which vertically had the appearance of a human figure. This ‘figure’ was half in the light and half in the darkness, as reflecting internal spiritual battles which everyone faces because of struggles with sin. A red colour was used for the ‘helmet’ symbol to reflect being saved by the Blood of Jesus. The ‘τ’ in the figure represented outstretched hands (a stance of prayer of faith in the truth of God's righteousness and salvation), as an important element in the stand for the spiritual battle). The ‘μι’ upon which the figure appears to stand represents mountains (green colour) and trials which we have to face as Christians in this spiritual battle. For clarity relating to this connected meaning, a portion of this Scripture is also inscribed on the front of the piece.
Above the central figure are symbols of spiritual weapons fighting (or canvassing) for the vote of his soul at the crossroads, which both lead to two different paths. On the left is the pitchfork of darkness, while on the right is the Sword of the Spirit. Intentionally, both pathways initially appear to go upwards, but in truth, only the Path of the Sword of the Spirit reaches upward as a road to the Cross. The upward pitchfork however is a deception, and forms part of the serpent’s body, which spirals downward to destruction. In the art piece, the end of that path leads to the serpent’s head which is already crushed underneath the foot of the cross, as was prophesied in Genesis 3:20, and fulfilled in Christ as the victory already secured for us in this spiritual battle.
The cross is the centre and backbone of the assemblage. On both sides of the cross figure are ribbons of blue, purple and red cloth, which were colours used in the Old Testament for God’s Tabernacle to signal the Presence of God (Exodus 28:5). The cloths are severed at the cross, which symbolizes the event that took place at the cross when the devil was defeated, and humanity was given free access into God’s Presence for victory over the Spiritual Battle. The piece is planted on top of a box (pieced together from cardboard slabs by the artist) for added functionality as a decorative case for Bibles, suitable for a dresser or cabinet.
It is hoped that the art piece will evoke awareness and stand against spiritual darkness and deception. In depicting the outstretched arms in the centre of both light and darkness, it encourages that amidst personal struggles, we have already overcome if we faithfully stand, as God has already secured the victory.
The artwork was put together solely by the entrant, Sarah Buckland. Acknowledgement is made to my parents, Mr. And Mrs. Buckland who were prayerful supporters.
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