I created a trilogy of pictures to visually represent a specific process from beginning to end that we find within Ephesians 6:10-20; the spiritual battle. I was inspired by the unseen dark forces of (behind) mental illnesses, that almost no one talks about, and the defeat of those by God as well. Having gone through this specific spiritual battle myself, I felt the need and courage to portray the struggle and the victory within this topic. I named this artwork: The Spiritual Trilogy- Chained to the Unseen, Strengthened by Prayer, and Standing Firm.
As described in this passage, evil, darkness and struggle are real but so is the Armor and Power of God. Physical health is just equally as important as mental health and although we have started to erase the cultural taboo around the world, the majority of people do not give the importance it deserves just because sometimes ''you cannot see it''. Through this artwork, I wanted to bring awareness about the dark forces of mental illness that many individuals face. Thus, what goes unseen in the physical realm without consciousness, becomes a needle in hay. This makes people feel lost, drained, alone, powerless or even dead inside and some do not understand or are conscious that something is going on, meaning there is an internal battle that has its roots in the spiritual. But God is always there, it does not matter how dark everything may seem, His light is always fighting darkness for you.
I am a hard believer of the power of nonverbal communication such as pictures, in order to transmit impactful messages. As I stated at the beginning, I have gone through spiritual battles related to mental disorders myself such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. My testimoy is one of the reasons of this artwork. Two years ago I was drugged and sexually abused. The spiritual consequences of the mental battle I had to deal with put me in a very dark place that made me feel chained, as depicted in the first two pictures. However, since day one after it happened, I never doubted that God was with me through the entire battle I faced. And of course, just like in the third picture, I was able to win the battle through Christ.
The Spiritual Battle found in Ephesians 6:10-20 is reflected through the trilogy as a whole. There is a cadence of the process that is considered in the passage. I meant to portray the connection between the message of the Scripture and the spiritual battle related to mental illnesses/disorders. Every picture narrates the entire essence of Ephesians 6:10-20. The Armor of God described is symbolized through the light in each photograph. Although what dominates in the trilogy are the shadows and darkness, representing of course the spiritual forces of evil, the light (the armor) is always there.
The trilogy narrates a battle from beginning to end. Even though in the first picture the woman is on the floor and facing down with her hand ''chained'', in the second one she is kneeling and starting to stand up with light on her feet. The second picture shows the ''middle'' of the struggle between evil and good. And finally in the third one, she is clearly not defeated or chained anymore, but free, smiling and stading firm in the middle of the light hanging on to God, who protected her the entire time and never left her side. She is still dressed in black and with shadows around her, because spiritual battles never stop, we all have them on a daily basis. However, when you are conviced that God exists, and remember that you have the weapons and the proper protection to fight evil, you will win the battle agains the devil´s schemes.
Fernando Vega: Photographer, Executive Producer, Editor, and Lighting Technician
Catarina Calderón: Model and Creative Director
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