After typing faith47.com on my web browser and pushing enter, I am greeted by a photograph of a large-scale painting of a golden swan like creature on a city street wall, just shy of a bus stop. The wall is filthy and grimy with other graffiti down below, while the painting radiates a spiritual light that glows from the belly of the beast to the top of the expanded wings that over shadows the surroundings perfectly. An awareness of the ethereal is exemplified by the careful combination of a floral halo and the drippy renderings throughout the body, showing us just how far street art has evolved beyond its inception. Just above is a banner that reads “Sea to Sea”, which upon further inspection is a clear indication of the vast travels the art of Faith47 has taken across the world, with murals in Sweden, Scotland, and currently in Berlin. Faith47 is a self-taught street artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. Her work originally came from a place of struggle and necessity, having to raise a child alone from the age of 18. Yet her talents blossomed beyond all expectations into the mastery that she creates today. Now married to fellow artist Dal and recently releasing, The Hidden Years: Volume One, a book of sketches from 2013-214, she continues to work in her studio on installations and paintings for exhibitions. Still, her true passion is expressed in the canvases she seeks out in the streets all around the world. Faith pursues forgotten, broken down spaces in abandoned buildings, and empty lots where she makes her mark with murals that soulfully disrupt the dilapidating environment into a fixture of beauty and awe. Painting in this fashion allows her work to become this temporal creation that lives both in the present and the past as a beautiful entity with its own birth and death. She allows` herself to accept that it may not be there the next time she visits stating in an interview “ that there is something so fragile about it and for me it’s kind of like life. You can’t hold on to things, so if you get to see it while its it’s in its space at the right time, it’s a special moment and there is something quite beautiful about that fact that it’s not permanent”.
Within faith47.com we are able to view the vast range of public and studio works that extend from 2010 until 2014. With work shifting from public paintings of words and phrases relating to existential questions, Who Cannot Pretend, Death Is A Form Of Art , to words of compassion, Hold Me, that are depicted in abstracted letters across, trains, peeling walls, and caravans. While later creating words of resistance and demands for social change in her series The Freedom Charter. Also included on the street/exhale page, are selected murals from around the world that depict unicorns running, beasts hunting and stalking, birds flying, and women in varying states of change, struggle, power, and glory. The women in Faith’s murals boldly stand just as they are, with no apologize or regrets as a fixture of feminist strength in a male dominant medium.
In Faith’s studio work your able to see quite a few studies of inspiration that were painted as murals, each of which hold themes that connect the female body to nature. Creating a dialogue that carries mother earth to an elevated state of holiness and tranquility. In her selected painting of 2013, Faith carefully chose a pallet of grays, whites, blacks, deep browns and gold leaf, that control a mood that is sultry without becoming overtly sexualized. Some of these women are painted on found objects, like doors, wood panels, and chalk boards. Lastly, Fragment of a Burnt History, is a mixed media installation that combines found objects, prints, wheat paste on paper, and paintings that stretch across an entire wall of a gallery in Johannesburg. The scene existing as a collage of observations, and lived in spaces, that combined sayings that were once said and a mixture of lifestyles that clashes between the past and present culture of South Africa. Almost as if this was the garage or studio of a packrat collector whose life intermingles with fiction and reality, unsure of which one to chose. The larger paintings of men sitting on boxes and bins seem as though they are waiting for something important, possibly a job or for cultural change to slowly take hold. Small clues of the revolutionary rebellion pop up on the spine of a books and prints throughout the piece, stating “Slavery to Freedom”. Creating a consciousness that is confronting in an educated manner.
There is so much more to explore on the site and I whole hearted recommend that you take your time to look over all of the great imagery that Faith47 has to offer the world.
All images courtesy of Faith47.com