Following an art career spanning more than fifteen years, Faith47’s murals can now be found in major cities around the world. Using a wide range of media, and balancing her production between outdoor and indoor artworks, her work is both an internal and spiritual release that speaks to the complexities of the human condition, its deviant histories and existential search.
– Your walls with Alexis Diaz and Axel Void are spectacular, how has it been collaborating with other artists?
There are times when it is good to reach out and learn from others, to drop ones individuality somewhat. Alexi’s immaculate attention to detail and Axel Void’s dark subject matter and technical experience have been important lessons for me.
– I have always liked your color palette, the search for the brown earth tones, the old effect, something that seems to be always there .. What brought you to this style?
It’s a fascination with memory. The colors and marks of things past, ghosts and spirits still existing in vacant lots. Faded thoughts and emotions once violent and real start to blur over. I’m interested in this passage of time.
– I was impressed by your recent series made in Durban, perfectly integrated in the urban context, how this idea was born and what kind of reactions did you get?
The warwick triangle is marked as a ‘danger’ zone on tourist maps, its a wild and furious market, layered in culture and spawned by organic informal trade and transport.
I was awarded with a public art commission by the city of Durban and I was strongly motivated for these bridges because of the hightened energy in this location, which i feel is not appreciated to its full extent. The portraits are of individual traders themselves. With the intention of bringing them a sense of ownership to the contested area. The questions that arose through this project for me were about the effects of architecture, and the way that people create a city, despite city planners who often are disconnected to the real needs and movements of the man on the street.
– I follow your evolution for many years, and I think you have now arrived to a perfect balance between the delicacy of the subjects and the power your items express. I’m thinking about the Unicorn painted in Tunisia, and that magical flight of swans painted in Los Angeles. Tell us about your research and the choice of subjects.
I’m interested in creating images that pierce deeply into the archetypal, into the heart. I want you to cry. Ideally. To feel something. To shift. To be unapologetically alive.
– You seem to have always worked on a large scale, I can only imagine the effort to realize such a work. Talking about the technical aspect, what is the most difficult thing in your work?
The most difficult thing would be the cold and rain so i have to be more vigilant about not committing to painting in those conditions.
– It seems to me your subjects have always something religious. Is there something mystical you are looking for in your work?
I dislike formalised religions. But I’m influenced by religious imagery which speaks directly of ancient desires and timeless existential questions that we hold.
I’m exploring the sacred, the mundane, the discarded and the holy therein. the reinterpretation of old symbols appropriated, the unravelling of habitual thinking.
Jung was a master of the mind, he’s a brilliant guide. But then so is Murakami and the quite inner reflection of silence. My work is an extension of a journey into the great void. The abyss. It’s really just beginning to unfold.
– The voyage is part of your life, the cities you marked are countless.
Do you choose the next city by yourself or it depends on an artistic invitation?
You’ll notice that I’m starting to avoid small quite northern european towns and focusing on places with inherent chaos and sun.
My journeying is allowing me to listen to the planet breathe in distant locations unconnected, to see cities and humans living parallel lives. the breath is so different depending where you are, but then again, its also so overwhelmingly constant everywhere.
– What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
I’m releasing the second book and print of ‘the hidden years’ on the march equinox.
I’ll also be spending time in the workshop focusing on lithography and etching this year.
There is a strong project coming up in Lagos early in 2015.
We’re currently working of the initial steps of a new project ‘a sketch for a house’ which will sell a high profile artist sketches. The cost of a sketch covers the building of a small low cost house in the township, Nyanga, Cape Town. We’re hoping to launch that in mid 2015.
Photo credit, in order of appearance:
‘dialogo’ – axel void & faith47 collaboration, rio san juan, dominican republic
‘a study of warwick triangle at rush hour’ durban, south africa
‘the preciousness of the hunt’, los angeles, usa
‘infinitud del universo’ , malaga, spain
‘the harvest’, cape town, south africa
‘rhapsody’, rochester, nyc, usa