The sacrament called the Eucharist has maintained its integrity through wars, injustice, chaos, societal change, and criticism. Contemporary Christians touch history each time they participate; love and affection for humanity is wrapped in ancient mystery.
The sacrament of Eucharist is outside time and space, it’s message can only be experienced. The presence of something greater than myself is revealed through an unfathomable spirit found in communion. “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do This, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 1Co 11:25. The ritual is cloaked in repetitive words and movements performed by the one who presides, and witnessed by a congregation of believers, singing, and kneeling with respectful reverence for something unseen. The experience is where the past, presence, and future collide in finding eternity.
Contemporary Christian Art
A communion table is a scared space where one body is shared in a collective promise. Our anxiety and fear of sickness, disease, hopelessness, or trouble no longer have power over me!
The table is set as we converse in every nation around the world. Words are insufficient sounds to describe the power of this gathering. We are inspired by new life as we share and commune together. I am satisfied, anticipating a future that will be far better than my past because of those around me in faith. I am hungry for more love and connections to the realm of spirit.
Psalm 23-5. “You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies.”
We are living in a time of great fear and anxiety. There is a battle going on in the hearts and minds of humanity. Psalm 23 assures me that my enemy only appears to be terrifying. However, I am not alone or lost or confused. I am a participant in love with Christ. This assortment of Last Supper images are not Contemporary Christian Art, yet they show us what peace can look like. The sacrament of the Eucharist is the principal place in Christian life for reflection. How can we sit with others and be at peace?
The icon is not meant to be a threat to the tradition, but rather a way to continue the discussion and bring us all closer to living in the one mind of God. Humanity is sitting together in communion with Jesus at the table. He has no rage with anyone present. This is not just any gathering, but the new covenant, promising fairness and inclusion. Jesus Christ is with us in spirit and will instill protection, mercy, strength, and love.
“Contemporary Christian art” is created through renditions depicting spiritual information to honor unseen mysteries. It is a prudent idea for artists to begin the creative process with a verse, concept, or sacred text, not to illustrate it precisely but to highlight its significance for spiritual understanding today. Classic iconography tries to maintain a literal illustration of a concept, yet there may be more to say, an example is my rendition of Pentecost. The original disciples locked in a room waiting for the Holy Spirit did not know they were on a rock hurling through space. The planet Earth reminds us how small we are on a planet that changes over time
As I create contemporary Christian art, I look to history and allow room in my head to expand an idea or image. The goal is to not have a limit on God’s presence but to depict its ever-changing interpretation. God’s words found in sacred texts should continue to stimulate conversation, debate, and new perspectives as humanity grows closer to the mysteries life has to offer. Images bridge a gap between mind and heart, intellect and emotion. They provoke a personal response.
Images of Earth, the place of Women, and the invisible transparent presence of Christ’s consciousness are examples of how consciousness has been challenging for over 2,000 years. Currently, humanity uses science and meditation to connect to a changing world. Contemporary Christian artists use symbolism and lavish pictorial imagery to illustrate the enormity of God, the political upheavals we face in society, and the ongoing invisible presence of spirit.
Contemporary Christian Art Technique
Egg tempera done with an emulsion of egg yolk and million-year-old dirt (ground earth pigments). The movement of brushstrokes is exhilarating, pushing around tiny particles of Earth as if I were God the creator. It is a powerful metaphor and practice. The ritual practice is similar to the Eucharist. Bread and wine are the elements mixed to release the divine presence within. Egg yolk and ground colored Earth are elements mixed to create a divine image in my Contemporary Christian Art. The bread is symbolic of the word of God and the wine of the Holy Spirit, while the egg yolk is symbolic of life and the ground stone the eternal presence of God on and in the planet.
Contemporary Christian Art is a work in contrasts—the love of the divine versus the fears and anguishes we might have as human beings. Those two states of mind merge in image for our reflection and contemplation.You can see even more of my work and come to your conclusions as we ‘walk by faith and not by sight’. (2 Cor 5:7)