Moments with God

A showcase of creative talent from across the South Pacific.

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Ellie Morris

Perenjori, WA

Instagram: @elliemorrisau | www.elliemorris.com.au

Ellie Morris is a girl from the land. Growing up on her family farm at Perenjori, in Western Australia’s central west, Ellie has a unique and beautiful relationship with the Australian landscape—and she captures it all on camera.

With a stunning portfolio of images, the 18-year-old specialises in landscape, agricultural and animal photography. When she’s not taking photos of the stunning scenery, she drives tractors for the neighbouring farms, rides horses and takes the motorbike for a spin. Is there anything this true-blue Aussie girl can’t do?

“I got my first point-and-shoot when I was about six years old, and Dad got me a DSLR when I was 11 or 12. I’m mostly self-taught, experimenting and following other photographers and asking questions.

“When I’m working on the farm, I always have my camera with me on the tractor, but when I’m just at home, I get out at least two or three times a week. I would like to take more photos of people I guess, but I prefer landscapes. I do take photos of animals too—my kelpies and horses.

“I’m mostly on my own; I don’t really know anyone else who does photography like me. It’s more than 40 kilometres to the nearest town, so I spend most of my time on the farm with my brother, sister, parents and grandma.

“Dad does contract work with windmills and solar panels, so sometimes I get to go with him and take photos of different places out west.

“I’ve been an Adventist my whole life—Pastor Don Felhberg married my parents and baptised me and my siblings—but taking photos has made me appreciate creation more. It’s important to do what you love doing, and I love being out in nature.

“I mostly just do it because I love it, but I also think my work shows a different side to agriculture. I love doing rural stuff and shooting at golden hour and sunset. My favourite thing to photograph would be thunderstorms because they really show the power of creation. It’s awe-inspiring. Taking photos makes you appreciate all the little things in different aspects, even just the way the light falls on everything.”


Charmaine Patel

Brisbane, Qld

Instagram: @adventist_sqc

“As the media producer for the South Queensland Conference, I have the honour of capturing moments of people worshipping God all over Australia. Meeting people from behind the camera empowers me to see how much God works in their lives. I’m often inspired by how amazing God is with the work He is doing through people in all walks of life. I feel so blessed to see through my lens the joy in people’s faces I know only comes from God. It’s my privilege to direct and produce people’s testimonies so that the whole world can see how great our God is.”


Jean Pierre Niptik

Port Vila, Vanuatu

Instagram: @niptikjeanpierre

“Living in the Pacific is living in the sunshine. Every sunrise and sunset amazes me with its colours. My country, Vanuatu, is blessed with gorgeous sunsets, which tells me that God is beautiful and loves beauty. How He paints the colours in the sky and reflects the sun’s rays across the ocean is outstanding. After a long tiring day of work, I love gazing out at the sunset to relax and ease my mind. The experience urges me to look forward to a day when God will restore long-lasting peace and all my worries and stress will be gone. As the sun sets, signalling the end of another day, I look forward to tomorrow. God is still in control, it’s His sun and He controls and transcends time.”


Luke Vodell

Sydney, NSW

Instagram: @lukevodell

“Photography is about being in the right place at the right time, but this photo was taken in an amazing place at the worst possible time. The place is Trolltunga in Norway and it involves a 28-kilometre return hike. My brother Joel and I visited in the middle of summer and weren’t prepared for cold or wet weather hiking. The forecast said it would be fine, so off we went. Only a few kilometres in, we noticed some dark clouds, but trusting the forecast and with a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude, we decided a faster pace was all we needed. As we climbed higher, the dark clouds arrived bringing rain; so we increased our pace. The rain turned to hail, which hurt. It also became very windy. I’d never been that cold for so long. If we stopped walking for even the shortest period, we could feel our bodies shutting down. Nearing the top, the hail became snow, so we quickened our pace again. Looking at my numb blue hands, many prayers were said. When we arrived at the lookout, it stopped snowing and the sun came out slightly so we quickly took photos and enjoyed the moment. Still freezing, we had to keep moving to keep warm, so we raced back and completed the hike in about eight hours. This photo reminds me that God is always with us despite our own stupidity, and that He really can turn troublesome times into beautiful moments and memories.”


Robbie Fatt

Sydney, NSW

Instagram: @robbiefatt

“The more I travel, the more I have come to realise just how distanced I am from other people’s experiences. For the Aseki people, deep within the highlands of Papua New Guinea, cannibalism was a way of life until Christianity reached their villages only 30 years ago. While still traditionally-influenced and lost in their understanding of a modern world, these people have been changed by the gospel, and I often wonder if I have allowed the gospel to influence me in a similar way. I find I am constantly needing to re-evaluate my own personal relationship with God, and to continue to prioritise the things in life that are most important.”


Tim Richardson

Canberra, ACT

Instagram: @seasonascent

“Photography to me is beautiful for a few reasons. Landscape photography is an opportunity for me to show off God’s wonder and creativity. Each image I take is a small window into His power. I often marvel at the show that God can put on, and then catch myself thinking that the landscape in front of me, in a sinful world, is just scratching the surface of what awaits us. Can you imagine the scenes that are waiting up there? I am blown away by some of the locations I visit, so I can’t even comprehend what heaven will look like.

This particular photo is a good example of how photography is not only a tool to showcase God, but an experience. I love that it allows me to disconnect from the everyday hustle and bustle, and just be in the moment. I will often look up at the stars while my camera soaks in the light, and find myself in worshipful prayer.”


Glonaida Quiapon

Melbourne, Vic

Instagram: @meaningful_word

For the Word of God is living and powerful. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And boy, can it pierce through every aspect of your mind, body and soul. Meaningful_word is a creative ministry where I archive messages that speak ‘life’ into my daily walk with God in the hope that it, too, can impact someone else. Drawing from His designs, I love to create pieces that use bright colour palettes, lettering and thought-provoking illustrations for a more free-hand organic style! Some of my favourite pieces are the ones where idea, composition and execution flow cohesively. Art used to be a way I would only showcase who I was and the skills I had, but as I continue to journey with Christ, it has become a space where I can share who God is and what He has done in my life.”


Eric & Monique

International “musicianaries”

Instagram: @ericandmonique | www.ericandmonique.com

“Songwriting for us is a very personal process and a very special time in worship. It is incredibly cathartic and often brings God-led breakthroughs to current experiences and issues in our lives. Sometimes the creative process is a bit stop and start, and being married we have some ‘discussions’ in the process. But overall we like to be open to the Holy Spirit and see what happens creatively in the moment. We usually have no plan, a theme or any musical theory. We try to let the songs happen as God leads. Being songwriters and touring musicianaries has deepened our faith and trust in God. Following His leading hasn’t always been easy or the ‘normal’ path in life. Our three favourite songs that we’ve written are ‘Everlasting’, ‘He Knows’ and ‘You Are With Me’ (which hasn’t been officially released, it’s on our next album and it’s a prayer inspired by Psalm 23).”


Ashrae

Central Coast, NSW

Instagram: @ashraemusic | Spotify: Ashrae

Although this changes as I develop as a person and artist, my favourite song I have written is ‘AS I AM’. It will be featured in my upcoming album, to be released late 2020. It calls for us to love all types of people simply for who they are and to love ourselves, too. After all, isn’t our whole law summed up in ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’? I believe this should be our focus, always.

Songwriting is my wrestling mat. I wrestle with God and with my own heart. As I write, I often feel the presence of the Holy Spirit composing a new heart in me, as I slowly unravel my hurts or thoughts or praises before Him. Songwriting has shown me what surrender feels and looks like: laying your heart bare before your King and eventually before your audience too. As I write my song, I feel parts of my heart break and heal back together all at once. I believe through raw (and sometimes uncomfortable) honesty, my songs can reach people wherever they’re at. It is my hope that the Spirit will work in the space that my music fills inside the heart of my audience.”


Ange Miller

Morisset, NSW

Instagram: @angemillerart | www.angemillerart.com

“Creativity has taught me how to learn, how to see. When I am in creative process a sacred fire burns. He created. He saw it was good and was pleased. We see who He is by what He made (and there is no end to the wonder of it). He longs to be seen, to be known. He has laid everything out as a beacon for us to connect with Him. Made in His image, to understand who I am and who He is, I must create. Others see who I am by what I make, and so I am known in a way that is too deep for words. I have seen this to be the greatest applicable combat for anxiety and depression: to see and to know at depth, to be seen and known at depth. To know I cannot be separated from Him, His rescue process cannot be undone. He feeds me beauty, opens my eyes to see it sharper, to shine it brighter. His beautiful Son teaches me in humility and gentleness to teach in humility and gentleness. To know Him creatively and to know I am His girl means everything to me.


Phil McKay

Port Macquaire, NSW

www.philmckay.com

“It is hard to choose a favourite picture as I have painted many Christian/Bible images over the years. This piece was completed recently, and for me it conveys the might and majesty of Jesus, though in a gentle way. He is the Creator of all things simply by speaking them into existence! Yet Jesus is also our closest Companion. Painting the Word of God has strengthened my faith incredibly. Each painting brings to life the Bible in a visual way that sometimes reading cannot. I hope that as people see my artwork it will build their faith and understanding of the Scriptures in a way that is both relevant and accessible to all.”


Tulaga Aiolupotea (street name: “Serv1”)

Invercargill, NZ

Instagram: @graphoticz_artwork | Tiktok: @servwon

As a graffiti artist, concepts and ideas are driven from my passion for humanity’s need of God. My creative process derives from my deep personal love of Scripture and experience with God, which creatively interprets itself through my artwork. Graffiti solemnly deals with words; so how can I summarise biblical concepts in one word?

My street pieces are called ‘Pulpit Walls’ and ‘Good News Galleries’ which showcase God’s love in my life in hope to reach people who may never be seen in our churches. So I take my ‘pulpit’ out on the city streets, where the people are, and spray my ‘sermon’ on a legal wall through graffiti art.

My recent work ‘HFL19’ (above), is a suicide prevention graffiti project. This piece features the use of ‘negative-spaces’ with ‘positive words’ from 1 Corinthians 13:13 that express God’s overflowing ooze of hope, faith and love: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love’.”


Maria Dominguez

Sydney, NSW

Instagram: @mariferartist | www.art-stronomy.com

“I started painting shortly after I became a believer and have since used my art for two primary reasons. The first, to share God with others. When I read the Bible for the first time as an adult, I fell in love with God’s character and longed to share Him. Every painting I made became a small window into my glimpse of God. The second reason was to help me in my own faith journey. The scenes I choose to paint often reflect where I am at in my Christian walk. In this painting of Jonah, I was going through a time of repentance. In the hours I spent painting this scene, I lifted up prayers asking for forgiveness and the finished artwork became a personal promise that I would turn from a specific sin and follow God’s will again. I hang my favourite paintings on my bedroom wall; they are bookmarks taking me back to different chapters in my Christian journey, constantly reminding me of the lessons God has taught me and the grace He has shown me.”


Ali & Leighton

Central Coast, NSW

Instagram: @aliandleighton | Spotify: Ali & Leighton

“The disciple Peter said, ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms’ (1 Peter 4:10). We come alive when we make music. Ali is the main engine behind the songwriting and calls it her ‘dialogue with Jesus’, recording her growing understanding of who we are and Whose we are. Then Leighton puts his magical music dust over these simple songs and they become beautiful and memorable. We feel very blessed to have these tunes to share. They are significant for our family, and we hope that through these songs we can be faithful stewards and encourage our brothers and sisters along the way, ‘cause life can get hard and we all need a bit of a lift sometimes! Favourite songs: ‘Love Takes Time’ (Year of the Home album), ‘Connected’, ‘Rhythm of Us’ and ‘Straight Stick’ (December release).”


Andy Collis

Central Coast, NSW

Instagram: @andy.collis | www.andycollis.tumblr.com

“In my painting, Through a Glass Darkly, this earthly world is depicted in front of the mirror. The skeletal torso depicts what we are physically reduced to at death, yet there is no skull, implying that, for me, the spiritual is connected with the inexplicable, moved by emotion emanating from the soul. The lily (a symbol for Christ and salvation) arises from the rib cage, the flower itself nourished by water from which we, as saved humans, will not thirst again. The lily is central in the image and is the pivot between this world and eternity, represented by what is beyond the looking glass—through which we can now only see darkly but will ultimately see clearly. The plastic Spider-Man toy, at bottom left, is a symbol for my son—at the time he was five-years-old. It represents the fantasy that life goes on forever and superheroes can solve all earthly problems. A father is a superhero to his five-year-old son, but as that son peers into the glass and looks beyond this world, he can vaguely see an empty chair. That reflected chair should therefore be behind him, in the real world. It is where I, the artist, should be seen reflected in the mirror. But I am not there. What has happened to me?”