What is Christian art?

Sky by Lynne Pugh

A personal perspective from Sue Newham, director of Veritasse

God does not want us to live our lives in compartments. He wants us to be the aroma of Christ wherever we go and whatever we do. (2 Corinthians 2 : 15) We should be the same on a Wednesday as we are on a Sunday. There should be a bedrock of faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13) running through us which shines out.

It will shine out in how we talk to people and how we carry out our work, in happy times and in times of trial. This consistency should be evident in the drama, music, dance, artwork that Christians produce.

Does this mean that Christians can only produce “sweetness and light” pieces? I don’t think so. Christians should be speaking out against wrongs and injustices, and that might lead to challenging creative pieces. These need to be understood in the context of what the artist says about their work and their work as a whole. We need to remember that the Bible itself is fierce in its condemnation of oppression, hatred and hypocrisy. Christians who are artists may produce work highlighting wrongs and calling for change.

I guess what I am saying is that artists who are Christians are likely to produce a wide variety of types of work and that God can be seen through that body of work. “By their fruit will you recognise them.” (Matthew 7 : 20)

So what does that mean for Veritasse?

Veritasse is a small company with a desire to make God known through fine art. This means it curates the work that it shows and selects work with clear Christian themes. This does not denigrate any of the other artwork produced by Veritasse artists. In fact, we celebrate it and provide links to artists’ own websites too. We are amazed by the creativity and skills of the artists we work with.

Veritasse selects some pieces of an artist’s work, but does not show all of the artwork of any of its artists. Pieces are chosen for scriptural links and artistic skill, with a preference for images that people might display in their homes or church settings.

We walk a tricky line, because we do not want to give the impression that only artwork based on a Bible verse is a valid expression of creativity for a Christian. However, we are focusing on our key criteria, because Veritasse does not have the capacity to show every piece by every Christian artist. We aim to be a blessing to people of faith, those searching and to Christian organisations looking for high quality scripture themed images. We also try to be open to challenge about having too narrow a view. As I said, we walk a tricky line!”

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