Arise

Stephanie Bird's avatar Stephanie Bird Vote Code: 67556

Arise means variously: to emerge, to become apparent, and to get up. In terms of this contemporary polyptych, “Arise” utilizes the language of painting such as, color, mark-making, organic and geometric forms, to convey the story of Christ’s betrayal, crucifixion, death and reemergence as the Holy Spirit. “Arise” has an installation and sculptural quality created through the incorporation of utilitarian objects such as nails and mirror mosaic around the edges, forming the frames. These objects gain special meaning, as they are applied to the birch panel, which also serves as the surface for the paintings. Mirrors invite the viewer to examine their role in this story. Nails, known to have been used as a tool of torture in crucifixions, hopefully evoke emotion and add a performative quality to the piece. The nails also add to a fetish aspect to the work, inspired by West African tribal sculptures. “Arise” is a multi-paneled abstraction, which seeks to tell the story of how Christ was betrayed, crucified, died and then arose from the dead. This story has resonated throughout the ages, and it has always resonated with me as an African American and spiritual artist. Structurally, the panels create a cross-shape, moving left to right and up to down, to depict various aspects of the story. The piece is 80” x 114" x 4" deep, created from mixed media, including birch panels, gold leaf, acrylic paint, ink and acrylic media; with mirrors and coffin nails. Spirit exudes from the painting, which cannot be contained by nails, human acts or deeds. - Stephanie Rose Bird

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 4 inches
  • Medium: Acrylic on Gold Leaf and Silver Leaf on Wood Panels
  • Width: 114 inches
  • Year created: 2018
  • Height: 80 inches