Although “Hemmed In” is not wearable, like my other work, it is garment related. It was installed at 18’ high at Pike Creek Bible Church in DE and at 34’ high in Pouryousefi Gallery at Gardner-Webb University in NC. A particularly interesting view at the first site was from the back. It looked like the power of God was being funneled into the figure. How empowering! At the second site, the fabric was extended (visually) through the gallery window and across the adjacent hallway. Because you cannot see the end, it looks like the fabric continues indefinitely. Please see my website for more views including details. https://www.stephanielaelbarrick.com/#/hemmed-in/
The figure is the size of a large, strong man. It is not unnaturally scaled but strong and bold, to depict the boldness and courage of God’s empowerment to do His will and stand firm amid adversity. The light in the base represents the anointing of God on the Christian and his steps as he walks in obedience.
In Ephesians 6:10-20, God makes it clear that our enemy is formidable: the schemes of the devil, rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces of evil. But God equips us with his strength, armor, and words. God also gives many specific instructions and strategy. God provides everything we need for battle but we do have to take action ourselves: be strong, put on, stand against, wrestle, take up, withstand, do all, stand firm, fasten, extinguish, take, pray, keep alert, make supplication, receive words, open our mouths, proclaim, declare, and speak.
All of the prescribed strategies work because God is in us: his strength, truth, righteousness, readiness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation, word of God, ability to pray, perseverance, and boldness. He puts all these things in us when we become a Christian. These gifts empower us to live without fear, stand against temptation, and fight against the adversary. Another visually rich passage with the same effect is Isaiah 6. We see with Isaiah in the first verse, “…I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.” (ESV) The filling of the temple is similar to the equipping with armor.
The clear plastic figure represents the temple. There are several references in Scripture to Christians being the temple: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5. We are all sin scarred, imperfect servants. This is revealed in the gaps and imperfections in the plastic figure. The clear material represents the preeminence of Jesus (seen inside) over us as messengers of the gospel. There is a slight lean forward representing our movement into the world after being filled, equipped by God.
The metallic colors of the fabric filling the figure represent the metals used in the tabernacle and Solomon’s temple. The head of gold represents the Holy of Holies. The gold torso represents the Holy Place. The silver shoulders and arms represent the tabernacle’s bases for the curtain poles and the temple’s priestly cells. The bronze legs and hands represent the outer courtyard. The base is designed after the altar for burning animal sacrifices. See Exodus 25-27, 30, 36-38, 40 for detailed descriptions of the tabernacle design. See 1 Kings 6-7, 2 Chronicles 3-4, and 1 Chronicles 29 for detailed descriptions of the temple design.
The source of the fabric filling the temple, Isaiah 6:1, is the train of the Lord’s robe. He is seated on his heavenly throne with 6-winged seraphim attending. A seraph is a snake, in this case poisonous, revealed by the fire imagery of the six wings in the sculpture.
The title “Hemmed In” is sort of a paradox because the phrase usually means backed into a corner, bound, restricted. But here Christ’s train, which can also be translated “hem,” represents the power that won every battle, the power of the resurrection! So, with that “Hem” power “In” us, equipped with God’s armor, we have the “freedom” to obey God, resist temptation, boldly proclaim His Truth! We can live freely, ”hemmed in” with God’s resurrection power!
Ephesians 6:10-20 (ESV) begins with the admonishment to “be strong in the Lord” and ends talking about “opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel… that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” My sculpture portrays this God-enabled strength and boldness.
Stephanie Lael Barrick - everything
"Hemmed In" is a sculptural installation that is available for sale for $6000. If you want help installing it, expenses must be paid by client. Contact the artist via her website https://www.stephanielaelbarrick.com/contact.
A runway and gallery show can be scheduled with the artist through her website https://www.stephanielaelbarrick.com/contact. A runway show includes live models wearing sculptures walking on a runway to live music and the artist talking about each piece while the audience is looking at it. The artist will work with the client to arrange for models and musicians. This and other formats can be used for college and high school chapel services and other teaching events. The artist is open to visiting as a guest artist as well as custom designed Christian projects and events. Most sculptures are for sale, commissions will be considered individually.
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