James Paterson on finding new ways to communicate God’s redemptive love through art

And Then You Were Flying is an art installation that portrays a vision of healing and being whole. Of being given life and breath. It celebrates the joy of friends and inseparability, drawing on the textures, colours, and emotions of past remembrances to help pave a way forward to envision the future. It’s about knowing you are loved and about all the things you carry around in you that make you who you are.   

And Then You Were Flying by James Paterson

I was commissioned to create this art piece by the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California. The installation has been on display since October 2019. It is one of the last things parents see as their children are being taken in for surgery on the cardiac floor, so I wanted to give them a sense of hope. I explored themes of childhood innocence, inquiry, and imagination. The different toys, shapes, and movement reflect a collection of memories, while also inviting viewers to embrace life in the moment now. For me, the piece is about becoming that child again. It’s about trust and hope.

Creativity is more than just about art. It’s really about finding new and novel ways to communicate God’s redemptive love in any sphere of life. In the beginning, without any point of reference, God created all that there is as an expression of His love for us. His creation reveals who He is. I hope my daily acts of creating communicate my love back to Him and point others to Him as well.

James Paterson’s art is in hospitals, corporate and private collections, and has also appeared in movies and documentaries. He probes themes that explore our relationship with eternal things, the redemptive nature of God, and giving expression to mystery. He grew up in Toronto, Ont. and currently live near Meaford, Ont. with his wife Lynn.