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Psalm paintings

Psalm Paintings by Anneke Kaai

Anneke Kaai is a Dutch artist whose work is inspired by the Bible. Her style is best described as ‘Abstract symbolic’, because colours and shapes are given particular symbolical meanings.

Her Psalm paintings draw on her experience as the wife of a Dutch Reformed minister in reflecting on the range of intensely felt emotions people experience in their relationship with God.

She hopes that her paintings will encourage viewers to meditate, discuss and to pray.

Psalm-22-Anneke-KaiPsalm 22
God, God... my God!
Why did you dump me
miles from nowhere?
Doubled up with pain, I call to God
all the day long. No answer. Nothing.
I keep at it all night, tossing and turning.
And you! Are you indifferent, above it all,
leaning back on the cushions of Israel’s praise?

The bent red shape of someone in deep sorrow suggests a question mark: Why?

God is enthroned in light (above, on the right)
Although it appears as if he has not heard the cry, the question mark transforms into the shape of a (listening) ear.

Psalm-143-Anneke-KaiPsalm 143:1-2, 10
Listen to this prayer of mine, God;
pay attention to what I’m asking.

Teach me how to live to please you,
because you’re my God.

The golden lines reaching down from above meet the red lines shooting up from below to signify prayer. Varied shapes are formed in the process, reminding us that God’s answers to prayer are never predictable; they can take many different forms.

These paintings are republished with permission from: Seeing a New Song - the Psalm Connection by Anneke Kaai (2008).

Anneke appeared at Catalyst Live in 2016. Access her talk here: vimeo.com/192482447

Visit her website: www.annekekaai.nl and Facebook: Anneke Kaai-pagina

Click here to download a pdf version of this article

Anneke Kaai-van Wijngaarden was born in Naarden in the Netherlands. She trained at the Gooise Academy for Fine Art before completing her studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. In her paintings, she expresses the deep feelings that she experiences in response to the words of the Bible or related biblical themes. In this she feels that she is guided by God’s spirit. Anneke seeks to express ‘how faith feels’.

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