Painting and the visual arts can facilitate an understanding and experience of God personally and corporately through its visual language, symbolism and presence.
Dr. James Romaine, New York art historian contends, “If our creative capacity is a partial image of God’s revealed character, exploring and exercising our creativity can be a means of better knowing Him; art making can be a form of visual theology. …It is also possible to actively study God by practicing that creativity that is both central to His nature and part of His image in us.”
Visual art is able then to take on a sacramental aspect with the role of mediating a transcendent presence of God, to be a bridge between humanity and the spiritual and the sacred. The shape and form of this has been as variable as the plethora of artists practicing their craft and the socio-cultural-political climate that each art piece or cultural artifact has been created in. Art and religious and spiritual practices have long had a symbiotic relationship.
New York artist Makoto Fujimura affirms the uniting of the spiritual with art’s materiality of form stating, “Art reaches both heaven and earth, fusing them together.”
Artist Alfonse Borysewicz, also from New York, states, “Sacred spaces have to inspire again.”
“Heaven and Earth” has been specifically created for The Brehm Gallery and Formation House in Los Angeles to help create a ‘sacred space’. This body of paintings and photographs are intended to reflect a fusing of heaven and earth and articulate Peter’s developing visual theology. The works help make a place for reflection, mediate worship and spur on an encounter with God.