Over the past few months the internationally acclaimed Van Gogh alive show has been in Adelaide. The show is something I really wanted to see as I have some very Van Gogh styles in my artwork and since seeing the short film ‘loving vincent’ I have a real affinity with the story and life of Van Gogh.
In fact I would go as far as to say he is still alive, but just not this side of eternity.
The travelling show was filtering through my instagram feed and I was seeing so many people going to the show. My wife and I were keen to join the experience so we booked our tickets.
Covid struck again
So with the tickets in our hand and the diary day booked away for a date day we were excited to see this show.
That night Steven Marshall premier came on TV and announced that South Australia was going into a snap lockdown and we needed to be in our houses by 6pm that night and locked away for 7 days.
The problem we had tickets to Van Gogh the next day. In the investigation I discover that it was postponed and with only days left in the tour was I going to miss out.
Beyond the Delay
Chasing up a new opportunity to go was still on my mind, but with only days remaining would this happen. About that time a word came across my path which read “I go beyond the delay” referring to a dead Lazarus in the tomb.
At the time I was about as hard as I could be to God. I was frustrated, angry and sad that I was coming up on 40 years of being alive and all the promises God had for me was just smoke and mirrors.
There was actually very few people I would listen too, but God in his grace chose the person that my heart was still open to speak to me. The context was I hadn’t heard or spoken to this person for almost 2 years. Amazing God we have.
As the shardes of rock broke away from my heart I felt the light and love of God flood back into my wounds and begin to heal them.
Back to Van Gogh
On the 11th August Liana and I walked into Van Gogh alive in Adelaide masked up with the rest of Adelaide and ready to immerse ourselves in this artist a person I believed was just a misunderstood pilgrim in this world that was just wanting to release heaven through creativity, colour and words of life.
It’s an incredible show and a very creative display of his mind and heart. As you walk past an endless cascade of light in a mirror room you enter the darkness of a room where people are sprawled across the floors in a 360 degree experience of his life chronologically projected on to the walls.
The feelings of literally being immersed in his paintings, journal entries and biopic references grafted in with the most beautiful composition of music leading you through 40 mins of his life.
Struck with his Word
As I looked at the 20 foot screens strategically placed around the room God reminded me of His word to me. “People will be immersed in my world through your art”. I was struck in that moment and I felt for the first time in a long time a energy pulsing through my hands to pick up my brushes again.
A couple of quotes of Van Gogh Journal were illuminated around the room and I just felt the truth of God resonating off them.
“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people”
This verse sums up my 40 Years of life. I am an artist on a similar endeavour. To love people and release what God has put in me.
Van Gogh was misunderstood and people of his time just could not make sense of the God that he was trying to release through his art. To the point where he was institutionalised and unfortunately it was just too much and his life ended after a short 10 years of 2000 artworks from age 30.
His famous starry night painting is often described as representing the turmoil with in his mind and his mental illness, but I believe it was instead the beauty of heavens being released through a brush and him trying to paint His dream of revelation. The truth that what is beyond the stars is the swirling portals into the heavens not swirling messes of confusion.
Van Gogh is Alive
Just like Van Gogh we are just pilgrims of the earth trying to love people and give them a sense that there is a God that loves them while we are on this side of Eternity.
That God is looking through the stars and calling out the artist within you and asking you to share his Glory. Just like Van Gogh this is the season to overcome the scoffers and let it out despite the consequences.
Married to the amazing Liana Monaghan for 13 years, a fellow creative that is just trying to release a little bit of heaven this side of eternity. How do I do that? I draw, paint, love people and surf my way through the streets and beaches of South Australia.