By Kaelanne Jordan
For Kathy-Ann Mackay, her journey in art has been like “a groaning” deep within her. It was not something that she could ignore or suppress.
While she recalled it was during her time at Holy Name Convent where she had “a spiritual awakening” that one can glorify God in art, she attributed her childhood as another “pivotal moment” for her career.
“…every morning when I went to tell my mom ‘Good morning’ I would find her on her knees praying. And she really had a passion for God. And the way she prayed… I always carried that with me. When we did that exhibition in Lower Six, that part of me awakened that I can use that love of God she had for Him. And I made a prayer to God to use the talents He had given me to honour Him….” Mackay shared.
It took Mackay many years of carrying “incubation” ideas from researching spiritual artwork in Bibles.
Mackay’s forte is Spiritual and Inspirational Art conceptualised in a triduum of exhibitions entitled ‘Revelation’. The Renaissance Period of the 14th to 17th centuries has been one of the greatest influences on her work as it represents an era of spiritual awakening and enlightenment, inventiveness, and creativity.
Her artwork is a testimony of her passion for God, family and fellowman intended to draw others to the ultimate truth that ‘God is Love’ as scripture says.
Also concerned about the crime situation in Trinidad and Tobago, Mackay desires to convey in her work the need for spiritual, moral, and social change, transformation of hearts and minds.
She loves acrylics on canvas, pen and inks, collage and exploring with glassworks.
From 1994 to present, Mackay has had four public exhibitions. ‘The Awakening’ was her first, July 11–15, 1994.
In 2009, she showcased her second exhibition: ‘Revelation I: Spirit, Soul, Mind & Body’ at the Art Society of Trinidad & Tobago, April 25 to May 8. On display were 44 works of art—acrylics on canvas also pencil, charcoal, pen, and ink drawings along with glasswork
Then in 2018, she did ‘Revelation II: Jesus Christ, True God & True Man’ on Palm Sunday, March 25 with 48 works of art—mixed media compositions of pen and inks and acrylics, prints, collage, and glasswork.
Her latest exhibition, her last, ‘Revelation III: The Holy Spirit Comes’ ran Pentecost Sunday, May 31 to Trinity Sunday, June 7. It consists of 30 works of art mainly glasswork, pen, and inks.
Mackay explained that her fascination for glass takes her back to when as a girl she was mesmerised by the beautiful colourful images of windows in churches and in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
“My friend Karen Cabral also influenced me in this love. She has in the past brought into T&T these beautiful authentic sheets of glass from all over the world such as Youghiogheny, Broque, Ripple, Bubble, Cathedral and Water Glass. So, thank you Karen…” she said.
Of the reason why she decided to stop exhibiting, Mackay explained this is because there is not a large market for selling art.
“… people are not educated in the appreciation of art…it is very difficult for the artists to live by selling art. In my case where I target a niche market—spiritual art—a small or almost nonexistent market in Trinidad and Tobago…it’s even more difficult for me,” she said.
While the public will not be able to view Mackay’s pieces at an exhibit, she wants to make one thing clear: she is not retiring. She believes God wants her to work to be permanently displayed for all the world to see.
“I know that I fulfilled one of God’s purposes for my life,” she said, adding that she went through many trials and tribulations with God as she sought to bring up a family. “It was not easy anyway and it still isn’t easy,” she said. Mackay also served the nation’s children in the education system for most of her 18-year tenure as a Visual Arts Teacher.
In bidding “farewell”, Mackay would like to thank everyone who has assisted her on this journey especially her husband and children “for putting up with me”, her parents, beloved art teachers and treasured alma mater, Holy Name Convent and all those who have bought her artwork over the years.
Her advice to any young artist following in her steps? “I would be honest first to them to follow your passion for art. It is a God-given gift, develop that talent….” she said.
Kathy-Ann Mackay’s pieces are available from $1,500 and up. If you are interested in purchasing a piece of artwork, please call her at 348-0572. View the artwork at www.facebook.com/revelationIII