Where Art Thou: Knowing God through Prayer and Attention

2D, Mixed Media 

Project Description

This project explores the ways in which we as people, but particularly as Christians, can see and know God more fully. A series of six collages considers the many facets involved in the act of looking with love and particular attentiveness. This kind of attention is not so easy as simply using the faculties of the human eye. It is dangerous, and difficult, and requires patience. But the gracious and gradual unveiling that results is well worth the toil. And behind the veil is something much larger than ourselves. 

The same themes of grace and unveiling remain in the subject of prayer, which takes us to the abstract painting. Though the painting was originally a separate piece responding to a devotional book on prayer and spirituality (Don Postema’s Space for God), I found that the revelation of sin, a reminder of grace, participation in tradition, and further knowledge of God connected quite well with the ideas presented in the collage series.

Project Process

This project was part of the Grove's Creative Coaching Journey, during which a group of artists set goals in each of their lives and work and kept each other accountable to those goals. The goals I originally set changed as life changed around me. But through the change and adjustments, I learned that my art is more genuine when I adapt to life's circumstances and heart changes, allowing myself to discover new things in my work as I go, rather than restricting myself and the piece to one form and interpretation.

Artist Bio

I am Ella Buell, a sophomore art student at Biola University. For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in the relationship between art and faith. Art is a creative, visual language through which observed truth about the world is proclaimed in beauty for the edification of its viewers. My aim is learning to apply this broad definition both technically and conceptually. My hope as I develop artistically is to create work that continually incites a perspective of wonder and points always to the goodness, truth and beauty found fully in the God I so gratefully serve.

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