Sunday, November 27, 2011

Artist Profile: Safina Stewart

Southern Cross Turtle by Safina Stewart

Safina Stewart is an Australian Indigenous Christian artist living in Melbourne, Australia.  Born in Auckland, New Zealand, but raised in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, Safina grew up with many multicultural experiences where she learned to follow Jesus from her missionary parents.  Her father is Australian with a Scottish heritage and her mother is a Torres Strait Islander and Queensland Aboriginal.  At the age 13 Safina returned to live in mainland Australia.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tibetan Christian Thangka Ministry

Jesus’ Life on Earth

One year ago I wrote a post about Tibetan thangkas and mentioned therein a Christian ministry that was selling Christian thangkas, though at the time I didn't know anything more about how they were being used.  In today's post, I am excited to provide some more information about them.

Back in 2001, some expatriate workers in the Himalayas puzzled over the repeated lack of effectiveness of more common approaches to reach Tibetan Buddhists for Christ, so they began to seek alternative ways of presenting the Gospel that would connect more directly with Tibetan Buddhists.  They formed a group called The Tibetan Storytelling Project (TSP) to address this concern.  The group eventually decided to produce an evangelistic DVD which would utilize traditional Tibetan art, songs, choreography and rhythmic speech in presenting the Gospel.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Church and Art - Word and Image Bible Studies

I encourage you to check out this bible study based on Matthew 2:13-23 and The Flight to Egypt by Chinese Christian painter He Qi [pronounced Huh Chee].  It's found at, a Christian website that "seeks to open up the world of the visual arts to the interested lay man and woman."  The website is chock full of information about artists, galleries, churches, art, etc. (primarily European), so please take a look.

The He Qi study is a part of their series called "Church and Art - Word and Image Bible Studies," and the goal of this individual study is "to find a new way into the biblical text by means of He Qi’s work... He Qi’s painting can help us explore the text, find new significance and make connections between this - seemingly insignificant - story and the larger narrative of God."  The study was written by Cisca Ireland-Verwoerd, a lecturer and writer based in Boston.

The study does a nice job of examining the painting itself, by exploring some of its visual elements.  I wouldn't call it an in-depth study, but I think that it could be an interesting addition to a deeper examination of the passage.  In any case, it's a good use of visual art to enhance a textual study and inject greater interest in the subject matter by associating a visual image with the passage.

Be sure to sign up for Artway's free weekly Visual Meditation email here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Artist's Frame in Visual Arts

While waiting for approval on a couple of posts I've already written, I thought I would briefly discuss a topic from the class module I taught in September at GIAL: in visual arts, the concept known as frame.

Frame is the purpose or intention of the artist in communicating a message in a visual artwork.  When using visual arts to communicate a message, frame becomes very important.  In order to interpret the message in a visual artwork correctly, the audience needs to understand the intention of the artist.  Otherwise, the message is likely to be misinterpreted or ignored completely by the audience.