Artful Faith — SA Christian/prophetic art travel guide

A fortnightly column in which Marzanne Slabbert explores the enigmatic fusion of faith and art in South Africa. Join her on an artistic journey and explore the many ways in which God is using the visual arts!

South Africa, with its rich cultural heritage and diverse artistic traditions, offers a unique opportunity for travelers to explore the intersection of faith and creativity through Christian and prophetic art. From vibrant galleries in urban centers to serene retreat centers in the countryside, SA is a melting pot of artistic expression that reflects the spiritual depth and creativity of its people. Unfortunately, many people in South Africa are unaware of where to view or purchase prophetic art, and even fewer know about churches where live, on-stage prophetic paintings are created. 

For those interested in experiencing the beauty and inspiration of Christian and prophetic art in South Africa, this art travel guide highlights must-visit destinations and churches that offer a glimpse into Kingdom creativity. Our goal is to continue expanding this guide as creativity and Christianity flourish in our nation, so please reach out if you know of any locations we have yet to include. 

Before delving into the guide, it is important to understand what prophetic art entails. Simply put, it is art infused with the presence of God, aiming to convey the heart of Father God and potentially prompt a divine encounter. Created through inspiration from the Holy Spirit, prophetic art serves various purposes, such as encouragement, illustrating a message, providing spiritual insight or healing, supporting intercession and proclamation, or aiding in leading others to Christ. Ultimately, prophetic art has the power to shift atmospheres and bridge the gap between heaven and earth. 

Free State

Bloemfontein:

House of Bread (viewing) — The House of Bread coffee shop and restaurant in Bloemfontein is not your ordinary, everyday coffee shop. It offers a unique setting to pray, be baptised, host or attend a Christian event. To add to the ambience, striking original prophetic art pieces and prints are exhibited in the restaurant area as well as in a number of private function rooms close to the restaurant. Some of the Biblical scenes you will find there are the life-size artwork of Mary at the feet of Jesus (print) and the Four Living Creatures in Revelation by seasoned artist, Carmel Taljaard in the Bridal Room.  Open from Mondays to Fridays. A must visit in Bloem!

War Museum (viewing) — The War Museum in Bloemfontein collects, curates and displays items relating to the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902. However, at the museum you will find an oil painting on a round canvas from fine artist, Ilse Kleyn, titled Our Hope. Kleyn was commissioned in 2023 by the museum to paint a piece to commemorate the official translation of the Bible into Afrikaans in 1933. After reading several books on war, she says one thing stood out to her and that was the hope of the women and children in the concentration camp. “They were anchored in their hope in God’s Word.” The theme of her painting comes from the Sparrows in Matthew 10:29-31 — Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (NIV) and its significant association with the war as well as SA’s old half and one cent pieces. The artwork includes a menorah with almond blossoms wrapped around it.

Clarens: 

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Loezytha’s Heart Art (viewing & purchases) Situated on the Ŕ712, Clarens (nicknamed the “Jewel of the Eastern Free State”) is a picturesque town in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains. In this small town you will find a big heart! Loezytha’s Heart Art aims to connect visitors to the Father’s heart through Spirit-filled artwork, immersive prophetic art camps, creative retreats and workshops! Make sure to pop in when you are in town to view the artwork, buy a gift with meaning or sit for a quick 20-minute sketch with a prophetic message! (Prints and original pieces are available for purchase.)

Western Cape: 

Mossel Bay:

House of Maria & Ground Coffee (purchases) -Visual artist Maria Oosthuizen is renowned for her vibrant portrayal of Jesus and His interactions with women and children. Her artworks explore themes of unconditional love and a personal connection with Jesus as a saviour, a source of strength, a confidant, a beacon of hope, and a friend. The House of Maria in Mossel Bay is a true gem, offering ample inspiration and good coffee, making it a perfect spot to gather with friends!

Belville

Die Bron —  Die Bron, which means The Source in English, is a church at the forefront of integrating art into the SA church experience. On most Sundays, the church offers live prophetic painting performances on stage, with the paintings on sale after the service. Additionally, Die Bron has a dedicated ministry focused on prophetic art that offers classes to teach individuals how to collaborate with God through artistic expression. Occasionally, they host evening art sessions where participants create Kingdom art together in order to bring healing, restoration, and hope. Make sure to visit their website or contact Marinette Swarts, who leads their creative ministry or artist, Lisa, who facilitates classes and paints live on stage.

Eastern Cape: 

Gqeberha (previously named Port Elizabeth)

Face of Jesus — sculptured walkthrough garden  Located on Rhetha’s Walking Trail,  in Schoenmakerskop, you will find the face of Jesus planted in the soil! But you might not be aware of it at first! An aerial view shows a unique human face of neutral ethnicity. Using nature as a canvas, this unique prophetic art installation is 30 square meters (with mosaic features) that serves as a reminder of faith and the divine presence in everyday life, inviting visitors to pause and reflect. A visit to this site offers a one-of-a-kind spiritual experience and the chance to connect with the artwork’s profound message of hope and redemption. Open 24/7. For more information, contact Retha Taylor at Sacramento Restaurant. 

We hope we have inspired you to plan your own trip to experience Kingdom art in South Africa firsthand!

NOTE: This Christian/Prophetic Art Travel Guide is a work in progress.  

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