Art and Faith

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As a full time artist I have recently been challenged with the reality of living in the world but not of the world. 

I was a finalist in the 2016 Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW. I painted actor and comedian Garry McDonald and portrayed his more vulnerable side of showing his head in his hand - the expression of never feeling good enough as he battled with anxiety and depression earlier on in his life. Anxiety for me has also been a personal struggle along with many other artists. I have found that most creatives battle or have battled with mental health issues of some kind, constantly comparing ourselves to each other and always doubting our ability. It is a real fight to believe in yourself. Being an artist my heart is in everything I create so I am constantly feeling vulnerable and putting myself out there for opinions and criticism. 

We as Christians forget that we don’t just live this life for us but it's about others and above all glorifying God with our gift and talents. We are created by a creative God. He is the author of creativity so remembering that we are his hands and feet makes it that much easier to have faith in our ability. 

I have been challenging myself in moving in a different direction creatively with my paintings which as a perfectionist and number one self critic is very mentally and physically challenging. Stepping out into the unknown is not a new concept for me but this time it’s a step towards creating artwork for Gods greater purpose of touching people and bringing heaven to earth through the gift I have been entrusted with. 

Having to be a part of the art world but remain true to who I am as a believer can feel like a tug of war at times. I can definitely feel overwhelmed with everything but one thing you can rely on to feed you is the word of God. It needs to be your daily bread and Gods voice needs to be the loudest one you listen to. Build your faith on a strong foundation, remember who’s you are and that you are a daughter of the most high God. Remembering that even though we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death that Jesus has overcome death by the power of the cross and through that we have complete freedom. The battle has already been won so we can live in that place of victory. Chose to think Christ like and allow the Holy Spirit to walk with you through every moment. Include him in everything because first and foremost God wants relationship, not religion. He loves just being with you and spending time with you. Never forget his love for you. 

‘The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the spirit is life and peace.’ Romans 8:6

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About Kirsty Neilson

Kirsty has been a part of C3 Oxford Falls for over 10 years now. She serves on the hospitality team and runs a thriving connect group. Kirsty has been a full time artist for 5 years now. Her work has been hung in prestigious prizes such as the Archibald Prize, Portia Geach Memorial Award and the Mosman Art Prize and has won awards such as the Mosman Art Prize Viewer’s Choice Award twice. Kirsty loves people and their stories and strongly believes we have a mission to show the love of God to all people through the gifts God has given us.