A talented young Christian artist took a bold step of faith at the recent Grahamstown National Arts Festival by using her first solo exhibition, Inner Necessity, as a platform to share her spiritual journey with God.
Chantelle Mullins, 23, said that although she only sold one painting during the 10-day exhibition she had derived great enjoyment from seeing the Holy Spirit touching many people as they read the heavenly inspired words she had written about her personal journey and displayed alongside each painting.
“Many people came to me afterwards with teary eyes, and began opening up about their family issues, and I got to pray for them. I even got to pray for a deaf man; whom I trust will be healed soon, if not already! And to me that was worth more than diamonds or gold,” said Chantelle.
Chantelle, who started painting as a teenager, said that she grew up in a Christian home but to her God had been like a story character from the Bible. During high school, and three years of film school in Cape Town she tried filling a void in her heart with drugs, alcohol and boys. She had seen a change for the better in her older brother who had become a Christian during his matric year. But it took some years before she was ready to follow his example. In March last year she went with her brother on a church camp where she accepted Jesus as her Saviour and Lord and was baptised in the sea.
She said Jesus had changed her life radically. This year she enrolled for a year at the Global School of Supernatural Ministry (GSSM) in Durban.
She said she decided to hold her solo exhibition as a way of motivating herself to paint again.
“But as the journey carried itself out over the past five months God began to make me realise that art was such a great tool to put across a message to His people. He made me realise that my talent was not to glorify myself, and make a huge name for myself, or even to make millions. But rather it was the joy of putting across the Gospel, and the love of God to broken people in need.”
In her exhibition Chantelle showed a number of paintings, past and present, ranging from abstract to realism, including mixed media and acrylic paintings.
“I tried to move away from the standard procedures of structural painting (as one is
taught to stick by throughout university) and rather to move to an expression of my innermost being — spirit,
heart and soul.”
Chantelle also used word captions to capture something of her journey from a confused 16 year old artist to a young woman becoming increasingly aware of God’s love and transforming work in her life.
“So the festival was a success and a starting point. I made many contacts for the future. God is beginning to open doors for me and I trust He has greater plans in store.
“One day I would like to see myself spreading God’s love, peace, freedom and joy onto all the people around me through my art and creativity.”
She said she especially aspired to impact the youth generation who were in great need of guidance.