Thursday, 10 February 2011


Faith47's work weaves it's way through Cape Town, making me notice spaces, making me notice what those spaces mean.

Photos can't easily capture what it is that makes Albert Road, on a hot, windy summer day, feel like the liveliest and simultaneously the most desolate place you've ever been. Nor can they capture what it feels like to see these paintings on the walls there.

For me, and I'd imagine for a lot of people, this is the closest I come to real paintings. I don't have any on my walls, I don't go to galleries very often. Reproductions aren't made of paint. They're not to scale. A picture of a painting isn't a painting.

But these, appearing magically in accessible places, for anyone to see, are real paintings. The curve of a letter describes the movement of an arm exactly, the spatters of paint record a gust of wind. The marks made by a skilled hand are plain to see; the hard work is clearly visible. Looking at them, for real, full-size, you can feel the movements made by the painter. Standing in the same place, smelling the same smells, hot in the sun and wind, and the noise of the street.

And this is the real message I see in all of them, whatever the subject. They're defiant in their lyricism, in the care that's taken, in the skill displayed, because they're a reminder that people can make things, by themselves, with their own two hands. Fiercely and beautifully.

Her studio paintings speak the same language, if more quietly.

All images in this post are from Faith47's website.

(Just so you know, that's the trim shop where I buy zips and buttons, and you should go there too because they have wax print fabric, vintage buttons, and zips in any colour you could ever want. And lately, cotton knit fabric that's super-cheap.)


Ruby in the Dust said...

I just spent ages on her site; what a great job she does of creating beauty in unexpected places. very thought-provoking too: those videos are pretty sobering, especially the Freedom Charter. thanks for sharing this, Jesse :)

Tracey said...

Thanks for the link, Jesse, those paintings are amazing.

Christopher Hinn said...

These are very captivating! I love the creativity. The paintings are stunning!

erich said...


Gina said...

Lovely post!

Duncan said...

Have long admired that cat piece in Woodstock.