The image that inspired us when we started out in publishing and literary agency work in 1999 comes from 2 Cor 2:14. The senior editor who worked with us at the time, Peter Cousins, paraphrased it loosely as: “to spread in every place the aroma that comes from knowing Christ”.
“Piquant” means “pungent, spicy” and seemed a good fit. In addition, “piquant” caught our eye because of the way “quant” relates to “kwant”… We hoped our books would be colourful and helpful. As our first newsletter explained: “Through Piquant we hope to publish books in the arts that achieve the goals of “theology animating the arts” and “art seasoning faith”, as well as books that support missions, missionaries and believers in the Majority World.”
Twenty years later there has been big changes across the world. Christians in the arts are not such a rare breed anymore, and the arts have become far more integrated in expressing our faith. Both theology and pastoral work regularly employ the arts now. “Mission” is no longer located largely in the Majority World but also in the West; and gifted MW writers are emerging at a pace. Life stories of believers across the world and through the ages provide varied models of faithful living. And apparently now, if you can smell a book, it proves you are well!
What has not changed since 1999 is the church, the gospel, and the powerful “seeing”, “hearing”, “knowing” and “healing” that theology and the arts can unlock. And that a book can waft in the “sweet aroma of Jesus” to surprise you with hope and joy.
Painted by Pieter Kwant Acrylic on Acrylic paper (A3) 2020