ARTIST STATEMENT ALYSSA BECCUE
“And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” Roman 8:23, NLT
Until recently, I did not know how to love my body. My struggle stemmed not from how I look, but with my difficulty separating the experience of physicality from the experience of physical pain. My own path navigating pain has been relentless and frequently exhausting, and I have also seen some of the people closest to me struggle for years with chronic and incessant pain. My greatest hope used to be that we might one day be rid of our physical bodies, until I took a deeper look into what it means to be created by God, as a body and not just a soul.
Jesus promises that when he comes again, it is not just to redeem immaterial souls. Our physical, tangible bodies will be resurrected and healed: a restored body that will last forever. Rather than a burden to suffer through in this life, my body is a God-given gift that will be perfected according to God’s original, faultless design.
In a series of three oil paintings, these life-sized, full-body self portraits show three stages of embodiment, beginning with a broken earthly form, showing a transition stage of healing, and finally revealing a healed, resurrected body. This metaphorical narrative presents the idea of resurrection through plants that burst forth and fill my figure. The imagery I chose is evocative not only of life and growth, but also of Edenic symbolism. The plants depicted are all found in the Bible and are native to the Middle East, presumably populating the garden of Eden. My desire is that through these paintings you may find hope and comfort, as I have done, in God’s promise to make all things new.
CLICK ON EACH IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW IT AT FULL SIZE