Welcome to Red Dress Theology!  Chelle Trebilcock blogs here about her travels through theological reading and reflection.  It started with a Masters in 2011 but has morphed into Doctoral Studies in Theology, starting February 2012.  In 2013 the journey continues to embrace all of life with passion and purpose.  Apart from student, Chelle is soccer mum, daughter, sister, aunty, friend, sociologist, and anglican priest, living in the inner east of Melbourne.

What’s with the name?  ‘Red Dress Theology’ is inspired by an awesome painting which my friend Bek painted just for me, called On the Second Day.  It’s an IKON of my experience of emerging resurrection and is an inspiration to me everyday – to be the person God created me to be!  Red is bold, confident, passionate but also the colour of blood – born out of suffering, or maybe better  – just born!  Most of all though, red is the colour of Love.

‘On the Second Day’ by Rebekah Pryor, October 2010

The image is of a woman clothed in a gown coloured scarlett, for life this side of heaven, and flowing with tears that represent the grief of experience.  It is transparent in places, exposing the woman (at once her beauty and her nakedness and vulnerability) beneath it.

The woman is nestled in a sleep-like pose against another figure – the Christ, who, bearing the wounds of crucifixion, now lies bound in linen and in the darkness of the tomb.  What happens on the second day is shrouded by white (as a symbol of the glory of the Lord) – it is hidden, mysterious, private.  Between God.  The decorative overlays of white and red work perhaps as Freud suggests (and as Klimt agreed and evidenced in his own (however eroticised) paintings) to be the link between the conscious and unconscious, where that which is visible points to that which is unseen.  This moment in the relationship between the two figures is therefore concealed and private; it warrants the same sanctity that an intimate marriage commands.

Gold is used to represent holiness and to suggest that God is ever-present.  Flowers in the background and in the woman’s hair are for the community of love that waits on the outside of the experience, offering hope and new possibilities.

On The Second Day is about peace and grief, life and death, God and us.

Bek is continuing to flourish as an artist.  You can contact her through her website:  www.rebekahpryor.com