Faith47: Stories on the Cityscape
An artist profile written for the artist. Republished in Sawubona, South African Airways’ in-flight magazine, March 2013.
Faith47 is a South African artist whose work has become part of the fabric of cities around the world. The beauty she finds in the brokenness of abandoned spaces resonates through her storytelling. Faith47’s work is explorative and experimental, combining her pursuit of mystery with the decay and history on city walls that tell stories of time passed. Layering her images onto the city’s weathered canvas, Faith47 creates textured narratives that become one with the place, at times disappearing into the ether. Her work creates a way of seeing through the physical reality into the layers underneath. There is the semblance of the impermanence of life, a fascination with – and fear of – the deep tragedy of our existence, and the yearning of mankind to find spiritual safety and assurance within this great chaotic unknown.
Faith47’s subject matter embodies these preoccupations: iconic figures both mourn and warn against the human condition; great beasts remind that nature is our wisest teacher. At the same time humble, these characters recede into the background, respectful of their place in the cityscape. Often solitary they delineate the plight of the individual, enraptured with the mystery of existence and evoking the possibilities of a spiritual journey. The parables within Faith47’s paintings are breadcrumbs pointing towards an existential search – but as the city breathes and sighs so they scatter, and we’re left with hints at truths that are just barely tangible.
As Faith47 travels the globe, so her transcendental tales leave behind wrapped-up mysteries for the world to unfold, ever-ready to spark a light to be ignited within. Her journey endeavours towards a path of understanding that weaves through the streets of cities and their gallery walls wherever she goes. For Faith47 work is life – there is no separating the two and no boundaries prescribe what it is she does.
Soothsayer, allegorist, artist, poet, philosopher and traveller: this is Faith47.