A South African artist with international acclaim, Faith47 creates deep, sweeping visual tales through a diverse array of media. Her work is most visible from the roadsides and rooftops, with some of her street art spanning across large walls and warming derelict spaces. In 2016, her work has taken her across the world, from Croatia and Manchester to Cape Town and Athens. The project, which is called 7.83Hz is a study of human nature in its purest and most rugged form, exploring intimacy, vulnerability and sexuality in some of the most beautiful and passionate pieces. Most recently, she’s been in Milan as part of the Freedom as Form exhibition, alongside BR1, Alexis Diaz and Eron, until 10 August 2016 at Wunderkammern Milano.
710BC – 650BC, part of the 7.83Hz project
Tell me about your upcoming exhibition with Freedom As Form. What was your inspiration for these beautiful, intimate works? What was the process from concept to reality?
The works for the show in Milan are part of a larger body of work titled 7.83Hz. This is the Schumann resonance, the frequency in which the planet resonates. The work explores human connectedness, intimacy and duality. For the Freedom as Form exhibition, I interpreted this within the context of sensual freedom, of expressing sexuality and intimacy without the chains of societal or moral dogma. The paintings are of a very personal nature. The references are taken from my own documentations and then worked into paintings. There is also a street element to this, which includes contrasting these images with the context of abandoned buildings. I’m interested in cutting into the bones of what makes us human… what makes us heave, our blood shiver and our souls weep.
Your work easily resonates with people around the world. How do you place yourself in this open, universal space without losing your identity as an individual, a South African, etc.?
The more I travel the more I feel that I have no roots except those that burrow down into the planet itself. I’m essentially a humanist and a pantheist and I aim to speak a visual language that can resonate regardless of where one is from, one’s creed or gender.
Who or what are your artistic influences? What makes you tick, what keeps you waking up in the morning to create another beautiful work of art?
The motivation for the creation of my work has always been a search from the depth of my being. I create the work as a channel for dealing with my own questions, confusion and at times despair.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to face in placing your art in front of people?
One of the reasons that I love to paint abandoned spaces is the private nature of it. Large public walls, although very satisfying, come with their own vices. There is always the consideration of the community in the daily vicinity of the wall, there is sometimes an approval requested on concept, both of which can be stifling to the creative process. It’s also an essentially arrogant action – putting ones work up for all to see regardless of their thoughts on it. Then there is the gentrification and trendy element of the street art phenomena that can be disagreeable and hard to navigate.
However, I was schooled within the graffiti movement and that taught me about the value of DIY and the confidence of individual action in society.
Creating works in the studio for galleries has its own intimacy, which I really love. But even then, for instance, with the nature of the works in the Milan show, it was challenging to display such intimate works. Essentially, it’s important to allow the work to have its own life, independent from your own. To move on and not look back.
The La Salpetriere School I
Where do you see the future of the art world as the digital age and technology creeps in and enhances, disrupts, and changes the way we do things?
It’s challenging to predict what will happen.
We urgently need to develop new systems of maintaining resource-based economies that can cope and benefit from the mass technological advancement and automation / unemployment that is fast approaching. If we can do this then I believe the creative industries will flourish because of the inherent human nature of creativity, which is not easy to automate. People will be doing less work and have more time to explore their higher creative drives rather than mundane work that can be done by machines.
Inevitably, however within our current political system, there will be massive fallout from this new age. The art establishment might maintain itself as it caters to the elite, but there will be new movements that don’t fit snugly into this which stem from the new manners in which we communicate and create. It’s going to be really interesting to see this unfold. The exponential growth of technology matched with the inability of humans utilizes it to the advantage of the planet as a whole, will potentially be our ultimate demise.
The La Salpetriere School VI
The La Salpetriere School V
The La Salpetriere School IV
The La Salpetriere School III
The La Salpetriere School II
Close up of 710BC – 650BC
710BC – 650BC, part of the 7.83Hz project
Close up of 685BC – 668BC in Croatia
685BC – 668BC, part of the 7.83Hz project
Close up of 580BC – 265BC in Athens
580BC – 265BC, part of the 7.83Hz project