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Kirsten Van Mourick: The Space Between

ArtWay Visual Meditation 6 October 2019

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Kirsten Van Mourick: The Space Between

A Sacred Moment

by Kirsten Van Mourick

Feeling safe enough to rest is an essential component of growing and moving confidently through the world. Our heart’s desire is to be known and loved and secure. It’s a meal shared with friends, or the warmth of a steaming coffee alone at dawn. It’s a painting that comes alive in front of me, unaccountably, after hours of frustration. This modern Madonna and Child is an invitation into the sweet hush of rest… to find comfort in the familiar space and objects. I don’t need to remind you that days are hard and there are stains on the sheets and laundry to fold and a diaper somewhere in the garage that smells and cancer and fear and… turbulence. But there is also this, dearest. There is the space between. There are moments that are worship, hope, and heaven now.

Yes, embedded in our swiftly marching hours, there are moments of worship, clarity, and beauty that refresh us. They are our rest: a secure foothold on a steep and lengthy scramble, a softly lit inn along a dark and dangerous road. These moments buoy us for the journey and remind us that even here, heaven gently hems us in. My canvases are meant to snatch up the lovely, sacred moments of lives lived faithfully. They are icons to inspire faith and celebrate the holiness in the mundane.

This piece is meant to provide refreshment on the dusty road. I want you to know that even in a world that is smoky with sorrow, God is good. Come and see, come and rest.

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Kirsten Van Mourick: The Space Between, 2019, oil on canvas, 180 x 120 cm. Location: San Clemente, California.

Kirsten Van Mourick is an American artist who received her undergraduate degree in Studio Art at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, and then her Post Baccalaureate Degree and Masters of Fine Art in painting at Laguna College of Art and Design in 2013. She currently works from her studio at her home in San Clemente, California, which she shares gladly with her husband and two much smaller versions of him. Kirsten Van Mourick is a representational painter, specializing in portraiture. She accepts commissions in a range of subject matter and offers individual as well as class tutorials. www.vanmostudio.org

First published on the website of CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts) on August 8, 2018. See http://civa.org/featured-artists/kirsten-van-mourick.

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ON THE WEBSITE   NEW ON THE WEBSITE   NEWS

1. SCOTLAND - Leith School of Art in Edinburgh, Scotland, seeks a new Principal who will bring artistic vision and strategic thinking to its ongoing development.

2. JUST COME OUT – W. David O. Taylor: Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts, Eerdmans, 2019. How do the arts in worship form individuals and communities? Every choice of art in worship opens up and closes down possibilities for the formation of our humanity. Every practice of music, every decision about language, every use of our bodies, every approach to visual media or church buildings forms our desires, shapes our imaginations, habituates our emotional instincts, and reconfigures our identity as Christians in contextually meaningful ways, generating thereby a sense of the triune God and of our place in the world. Glimpses of the New Creation argues that the arts form us in worship by bringing us into intentional and intensive participation in the aesthetic aspect of our humanity—that is, our physical, emotional, imaginative, and metaphorical capacities. In so doing they invite the people of God to be conformed to Christ and to participate in the praise of Christ and in the praise of creation, which by the Spirit’s power raises its peculiar voice to the Father in heaven, for the sake of the world that God so loves. 

3. ENGLAND - 8 October, 19.30 – 21 h, Church of the Resurrection, Stocks Bank Road, Mirfield: Walter Tapper Lecture: Liturgical space and the Hope in the Resurrection. Evensong at 18 h. Lecturer: Nicholas Mynheer, Hornsey College of Art, London. This event is FREE, booking essential. Pre-booked supper available from 6.45pm. £8.00. https://mirfield.org.uk/events/the-8th-annual-walter-tapper-lecture/

4. ENGLAND - 25 September – 19 October, St Mary le Strand Church, Strand, London: Giving Thanks, The Visionary Paintings of Veronica von Degenfeld.  International painter and stained-glass designer, Veronica von Degenfeld, has exhibited in Rome, Paris, Salzburg, and New York but never in London. Her semi-abstract paintings bring joy and colour. Mo – Sa, 11 – 17.30 h. https://stmarylestrand.com/events

5. AUSTRALIA - 16 July – 19 July 2020, The Centre for Theology & Ministry, 29 College Crescent, Parkville, Victoria: Vision, Voice and Vocation. Art/s and Theology Australia will hold its first conference. This four-day event will provide a unique conversation space for artists, performers, creatives, academics, and activists, to consider the vital role of the imagination in today’s complex climates – social, cultural, environmental, political, racial, religious, spiritual, intellectual, etc. It will also invite conversation around further questions: What kinds of change? What are the grounds and manner of hope, transformation, and resilience? What might the arts and theology have to contribute to such discourse and action, if anything? How do we attend to the margins of this discussion, and speak and act more holistically as communities of change? https://artandtheology.net/vision-voice-vocation/

For more exhibitions, lectures, conferences etc. inside and outside your country, click here

ArtWay is a website with resources for congregations and individuals concerned about linking art and faith.

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Other recent meditations:
- October 2019: Dmitri Plavinsky: Leaf in the Wall of a Church
- September 2019: Jan die Wael: Three Ladders
- September 2019: Bob Booth: I am Your Neighbour
- September 2019: Friedl Dicker-Brandeis: Art in Terezín

For more Visual Meditations, see under Artists