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TitleParadox Diptych
Publication TypeArtwork
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMema, Aubrie

Honorable Mention in the 2021 Book of Mormon Central Art Contest.

Symbolism has always played an important part in my art. One fascinating symbol of religious art, dating back to the medieval period, is the association of Christ’s willing and life-giving sacrifice with that of a self-sacrificing pelican which many once believed stabbed itself in the breast with its beak and then used the blood to feed its chicks.

In a recently completed diptych, I reinterpret this myth in an act of modern iconography. The first piece depicts Christ, symbolized by the battered, beaten, and bleeding pelican. Hands are shown lifting him high, while pointing fingers crown him with thorns. This is Christ, The Defenseless and the Judged.

The second piece depicts Christ after his resurrection in the act of redemption and righteous judgment of men, the latter using the same fingers that judged Him and the same hands that lifted Him, to clamor for forgiveness and mercy. God’s eternal crown is shown below. This is Christ, The Advocate and The Judge.

The diptych brings these two foundational episodes in the Christ’s ministry as a reminder of the paradoxical and mutually constitutive relationship between the act of saving and being saved, joy and pain, life and death, lifting and judging.

The artist uses symbols which are implemented as color, shape, or imagery. Her works are symmetrical conceptual drawings on paper where she juxtaposes various symbols that communicate meaning to the viewer individually and in unison. She enjoys employing a technique called monochromatic pointillism.

Her overarching focus is on the study of opposition. She is intrigued by the tensions and synergy that exists between the two extremes. Both religious and psychological themes are used. She believes art can be one of the most powerful tools to transmit truth deeply and purely to a viewer which can stimulate change.
Paradox Diptych by Aubrie Mema

Scripture Reference

2 Nephi 10:25
Alma 42:23
Doctrine and Covenants 18:11
Doctrine and Covenants 45:4