Oct 5, 2022

Wearable sculpture artist to bring work to Dordt's campus

A woman dressed in wearable sculpture

“Suitable Truth,” an exhibit by artist Stephanie Lael Barrick that features wearable art, will be on display in Dordt University’s Campus Center Art Gallery from Monday, October 17 to Wednesday, December 14. An artist’s reception will be held on Tuesday, October 18 from 7 to 8 p.m.

While Barrick is on campus, Dordt digital media and art students will also have the opportunity to collaborate with her, which will involve creating a video that showcases the artist’s work while she speaks about the art as well as the significance that Scripture has in our lives.

“The intent is to give our senior art majors along with digital media students the opportunity to co-create this visual narrative in video format,” says David Platter, professor of art at Dordt. “The wearable art will be displayed in the art gallery, but before this, student models will don the sculptures in various locations around campus to make the video.”

Barrick transforms materials in experimental ways, creating mixed media wearable art that is sculpture rather than fashion. Her wearable sculptures use content rooted in the Christian faith and Scripture.

“When Adam and Eve committed the first sin, they felt shame in their nakedness,” writes Barrick in her artist statement. “We read in Genesis 3:7, ‘then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.’ This was the beginning of clothing.”

Man’s attempt to cover their shame was not acceptable to God, as God provided the acceptable covering for their sin, which required the shedding of blood since they were made of “skins.”

“If you keep reading in the Scriptures you find that sin continues, indeed to this day, and therefore, our need for covering,” writes Barrick. “I created these human-scaled wearable sculptures using a variety of materials and techniques, but all feature the written Word of God. Since we all have this need of Christ’s redemptive sin-covering, every person should find at least one sculpture that ‘speaks’ to him. And to him who is given eyes to see, may God’s ‘garment of skins’ be given.”

Platter says that Barrick’s wearable art sculptures are a dynamic example of visual theology that inspires us to experience Scripture as the Living Word.

“She examines Scripture through the lens of visual narrative and pours herself into material exploration through delicate and refined craft in fiber and textile arts,” he says. “Her work illuminates in captivating fashion, some of the ways God intertwines his covenant and grace for his people with a remarkable co-creative spirit.”

About Dordt University

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

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