The planned scope of the paintings will combine into a kind of contemplative space for people to encounter God for themselves. I can’t wait to see them.
– Michael Frost, Author, Morling Theological College, Sydney
This project takes the viewer on a visual journey of God’s love and sacrifice, his faithfulness and mercy, juxtaposed with our human response. I’m fascinated to see the response and to be challenged by these powerful artworks myself.
– Levi McGrath, Social Justice Musician
by Michael Henderson
Michael Henderson serves as pastor at Frenchs Forest Baptist Church in Sydney, Australia, husband to his wonderful bride, Tiffany, and father to their two beautiful children – Gabrielle and Samuel. But even while ministering in these other areas, the Lord has put it into Michael’s heart to share God’s love through the ministry of painting.
Having studied Visual Art at the University of West Sydney and Theology at Morling Baptist College, no one could be better equipped to paint striking images that share God’s truth with all who view them.
Which leads us to his latest art project – a series of sixteen paintings designed to share God’s story with a world in desperate need of hearing it. When asked to describe this art project, Michael explained, “I am creating a series of 16 paintings on aspects of the human experience of life, the beauty and struggles of this experience, using familiar events from the Bible. I hope for the paintings to get people to stop and think about the things of God. But here is where the paintings have a different approach. I often find that when I have a conversation about God, it feels like squeezing into a cluttered room. The conversation is full of other people’s old junk and arguments, and if God is in there I never seem to find Him. My big aim with this series is to give people space, both physical and mental space, like a sparsely furnished room, where they can sit and have a conversation with God and feel like they have freedom to expand into the room, space to bring themselves as they explore God.”
As astounding as these paintings will be, however, the original works will not be for sale. Instead, just as God gives salvation freely to all, the artist plans to give his paintings away. He explains, “Once these paintings are produced I plan to give them away to a non-profit organization, one who shares my vision to provide that space to explore the things of God.”
To view this series of paintings and to purchase books, postcards, or digital art copies, you can simply visit the Fortyseven Website at: https://fortysevenperiodical.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/project-4-grace/
So other than turning to the Bible for ideas – what sort of hobbies serve as this talented artist’s inspiration? Michael answers, “I really like skateboarding, art, and getting lost. Overgrown lawns make me smile, as to me they’re a symbol of freedom in a carefully controlled world.”
As fellow Christian artists, may we all draw inspiration from this project and find our own ways to express freedom and creativity in a carefully controlled world!