I’ve just uploaded a sample of photos that I took of the art work that the children did at CLAN kidz recently. Some of them are utterly amazing not so much in the astatically pleasing art forms, choice of colours, composition or medium that may normally be considered when looking at anything called ‘art’ but in the simplicity of the story they tell.
One night a group of P4s (I think) were asked to draw something about God’s Party in Heaven. Someone drew the picture above of an angel taking them to God’s Party.
Another one that I don’t know the full story to went something like this (and if any of the team lets me know better I will update this). The child did this drawing of God’s house with lots and lots of windows (and for some reason a cellar ?!) when the leader saw it they looked up the passage in John 14 “In my Father’s house are many rooms”. The kid couldn’t remember hearing this story before but said that this was what they were thinking about.
prophetic or just kids?
I suppose it could be argued that these pictures are nice images from a child’s imagination, or they are drawing what they think the leaders want to see. But that’s ignoring the fact that God loves them and talks to them as individuals and wants them to know him. So I would interpret these pictures as God saying to wee Jamie (made up name) “I love you and I’ve got a room for you in my house” or “you’re coming to my party, you’ll have a great time and I’ve sent and angel to look after you” or something like that.
One of the few sessions I actually managed to help out at, the leader told a story (which involved St Columba and the Loch Ness Monster, but that’s for another blog altogether), then asked the children, Primary One’s, to sit still close their eyes and think about a picture they wanted to draw and ask God what he wanted them to draw. Lots had happened that day in my group we got “me as a baby, ’cause God knew me then”, “royal kings and queens” (we had talked about God being king of kings and them all being princes and princesses in his kingdom), “a butterfly” and “King Kong” – So I’m not saying it happens all the time.
What about us adults?!
I wasn’t brought up ‘arty’. In my school days it was considered a ‘gay’ subject to be good at. Also, as the ascetics of art became more important than the content, the idea that we are ‘good at art’ is only if we can make an acurate representation of something. So, I think it is embarrassed out of us as adults that drawing something simple is a bit childish unless it is ‘proper art’.
More recently it is something I have had to come back to mess around with. The more video or filmmaking stuff I do, it often becomes important to sketch out things in order to communicate visual ideas – storyboarding. But because of that hammered in embarrassment of the quality of the drawing we lose the freedom to do a simple stick drawing like those the children do to show something we feel. Instead we try to use words to describe our relationship with God or something that is going on in our lives where a drawing might be a lot more helpful.
Perhaps this is a lesson for me, to just draw in simple ways that aren’t supposed to look accurate the way I see God working. Trouble is none of these drawing will have people with hands – I don’t like drawing hands :- )