Sacred Space

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My painting is about how an ordinary space can be made sacred when we invite the heavenly and earthly realms to align more closely.

As a young woman reading her scriptures looks up towards heaven for inspiration, light and the Spirit of God fall upon her, and a connection is made.

Flowers have dropped from her dress, and it begins to take on the appearance of a dress she will one day wear in the temple. The fallen flowers represent first the falling away of the world around her as she communicates with Deity through the Spirit. Second, they symbolize the momentous actions that took place in the Garden of Eden and the garden in Gethsemane, the latter giving us the gift and opportunity not to suffer the effects of the former.

The model for this painting is Faye, a young woman of African American heritage in my ward. This pose was one of many I asked her to do, though at the time I just had a vague idea of painting a picture about reading the scriptures. As I looked at and thought about the pose, the floral pattern of the dress she’d worn suggested the idea of it transforming into a temple dress as she began to be bathed in the Spirit of God. As one thought led to another, I saw that the flowers that would have been on the front of the dress could be used to deepen the symbolism of the painting.

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