The Human Condition with Faith XLVII

By Emma Regolini

May 1st, 2020

FaithXLVII, Johannesburg

Faith XLVII (47) is an internationally acclaimed visual artist from Cape Town, South Africa. As an interdisciplinary artist, Faith47’s work speaks to issues of human rights, social issues and spiritual endurance across different races and genders.

Faith XLVII, ‘SALUS POPULI SUPREMA LEX ESTO-SKID ROW’ 2018

Her career spanning across the last two decades has seen her work on the walls of abandoned factories to bustling marketplaces, Skid Row and gallery settings.

Faith XLVII, ‘Multum In Parvo’ 2013

In post-apartheid country, Faith47 found her work inspired by the social and political issues around her in South Africa. Even at first glance, her murals strike a deeper tone within the viewer, transcending their physical location.

Faith XLVII, ‘Unearth’ 2016

Imagery depicting political problems, environmental destruction, women’s rights and humanitarian subjects, Faith47 debunks these issues with a truthfulness and emotive nuance allowing the viewer to reflect on the human condition and the world around us.

Faith XLVII, ‘Who will Guard the Guards themselves?’ 2016

A recurring theme in Faith47’s work is the physical location in which she stages her murals. These spaces become somewhat of a sanctum or spiritual place where the work can breathe and speak for itself.

Faith XLVII, Johannesburg 2017

Faith explains that, “there’s a fragility in these [broken down, decaying] environments as it reflects life [or one that once was]. She has also mentioned that,

“These empty building feel like spiritual experiences, exploring holy chambers of neglected architecture.”

Faith XLVII
Faith XLVII, ‘Multum In Parvo’ 2013

Creating art in these spaces brings an air of intimacy between the viewer and the artwork. The feeling of spirituality, Faith has mastered across many diverse environments.

Faith XLVII, ‘ The Psychic Power of Animals’ 2015

Her work in Warwick Triangle, Durban, South Africa (2014) presents murals across six huge walls on four support columns of the N3 viaduct adjacent to the Early Morning Market in Warwick. Faith has said that the energy on the streets breathes life into the work.

Faith XLVII, ‘A STUDY OF WARWICK TRIANGLE AT RUSH HOUR’ 2014

An artist has the ability to learn so much and see different layers of culture and systems in these open environments, something that can’t be experienced in a studio.

Faith XLVII, ‘A STUDY OF WARWICK TRIANGLE AT RUSH HOUR’ 2014

The project at Warwick Triangle allowed Faith to explore the notion of an informal economy and celebrate traders from the market, highlighting the everyday man or woman on the street. The artworks also feature cultural tapestry patterns and poem excerpts from Durban locals.

Faith XLVII, ‘A STUDY OF WARWICK TRIANGLE AT RUSH HOUR’ 2014

More recently, Faith47 worked alongside fellow South African artist Inka Kendzia to create and stage a projection-mapping mural in Cincinnati during the Blink Light Festival.

Faith XLVII, ‘AD PACEM’ 2019

Faith’s artwork depicted Eirene the Greek goddess of peace, highlighting the importance of actively working towards societies which function on open communication and inclusion, core pillars of humanity.

Faith XLVII, ‘AD PACEM’ with Inka Kendzia 2019

The detailed and montage-like projections interacted with the work to communicate a narrative alluding to borders, immigration, freedom of movement, protesting and the strength of the human spirit above all.

Faith XLVII, ‘AD PACEM’ with Inka Kendzia 2019

The raw intimacy and vulnerability in Faith’s work carries a profound weight of human interconnectedness and the sanctity of human life and what we make of it.

Faith XLVII, ‘Estamos Todos Los Que Cabemos’ 2015

In 2011, Faith referred to the street art scene as a new art movement that many “had not yet got their head around.” It has now become a way to start conversations and connect individuals.

She explained [in year’s to come] “people will be reading about it in art history textbooks.” A visionary in her own right, Faith47 is one of the most revered female street artists in history.

Faith XLVII, ‘ The Psychic Power of Animals’ 2015

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