When the world was saying 'God is dead', Dutch art student Anneke Kaai decided she would use her paintings to show that he is alive.
40 years later she is still pursuing that goal, creating beautiful works of Christian art, convinced that God can use her paintings as much as he can use others' words. Watch this 3-minute video to see how faith can impact art and how art has a vital role to play both in the Church and in mission.
"When I start painting, I fall on my knees," says Kaai, "and I ask God, 'will you help me?'" For this artist, every piece starts in relationship with and reliance on God. Many of her paintings are reflections on specific Psalms, or on key prayers or characters from the Bible. But she does this without being simplistic or traditional in her paintings, which are often quite abstract and expressionist.
The fact that her faith comes so clearly into every one of her paintings (even it is not obvious to the casual viewer) is, Kaai believes, natural for a Christian creative. "An artist shows in his work what his feelings are," she says. "God is in my work, almost everywhere, in every painting."
Kaai is coming to the UK this November to speak to audiences in Birmingham and Reading about her paintings. You can hear her, along with a line-up of scientists, poets, theologians and other Christian thought leaders, at Catalyst Live, a Christian conference made up of TED-style talks, hosted by UK charity BMS World Mission. Find out more at www.bmscatalystlive.com.
"God uses art and artists for the message – for God's message," Kaai says. "At this time, we need it."