Street art is one of the powerful forms of self-expression that Faith XLVII, an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa, uses to touch souls, raise hope, and expose hurt and oppression. Each time a metamorphosized perspective comes to light through her creations, from raising questions about issues that affect our daily lives to reflect on our society. Smart and resourceful muralists, Faith XLVII, explores human experiences, interconnectedness, and the affinity to nature in a creative approach. She captures metaphors, fragility with an intent to provoke universal love.
A disciple of enlightenment, philosophy, and activism, Faith XLVII shares her visual stories through different media such as printmaking, projection mapping, video installation, drawings on streets, and galleries.
FAITH XLVII: Just being alive is motivation enough. The constant flux and challenges of life and perception.
Jupilings: Pragmatism and flexibility are an effective response to global challenges still your art is a protest against them-
FAITH XLVII: Firstly, I don’t think you’re correct in saying that my work is a protest against Pragmatism and Flexibility. I walk the line between reality and the unseen. I believe the two are interrelated. So awakening to the mystical and the fantastic can also open one to real-world possibilities. Working on our inner understanding, helps us to be able to understand and make sense of the outer realities. Global challenges are very overwhelming for the individual to take on, but when you understand that they are a product of our collective mindsets, then that brings the conclusion that working on the individual helps with the consciousness of the whole. I don’t draw lines between spiritual/personal/ political perspectives. You cannot separate one from the other.
Jupilings: What does spirituality mean to you-
FAITH XLVII: The constant practice and perseverance in living a conscious, self-aware life.
Jupilings: What is your perspective in life-
FAITH XLVII: My perspective is still a work in progress. I do agree with the Wiccan Rede:
‘Do as thy will and harm none.’
I also feel that nature contains all the solutions to the problems we are facing personally, politically and ecologically, and that we should meditate on this.
Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?
FAITH XLVII: Woman empowerment, like Black empowerment, or any kind of civil rights movement, is the attempt to balance the scales after decades of oppression due to monotheistic white male power structures. Essentially these movements attempt to move us towards a more EQUAL society where all demographics can have a say in how we are progressing as a species. We must insist on the dignity of all human beings! I also add animals and the planet to that statement.
Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:
FAITH XLVII: I realise my own insignificance in the scheme of things. Fragility is something we are told to be ashamed of and fight through. But I find some strength therein. We are all impermanent, and our lives fleeting. By accepting the very notion of your own short existence, we can gain perspective. Working from that space allows for a certain amount of freedom and realism.
Jupilings: Best piece of advice you have been given-
FAITH XLVII: “If the world appears to be filled with suffering, it is, nevertheless, radiating pure wisdom.” – Rudolf Steiner.
Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor:
Overblown and imperfect, sensual and symbolic, are layers of different circumstances and conditions that Alice Zilberberg explores in her compositions. An Award-winning Fine-Art Photographer, Alice communicates complexities and possibilities of human conditions in our contrived world. Her visual language merges hallucinogenic scenes and what appears to be a reflection of the reality. She elevates her subjects mythically, however, she does not spare them the fallibility of their entity.
The images go through mutations, they change in form, become fragile, dramatic or grand. Still, Alice exposes her subject matters in symbolic ways. The confluence represents the unconscious and the notion of seeing one thing through another. Alice Zilberberg taps into her imaginative psyche to open a dialogue about the female power, nature and challenges the philosophical questions about self.
Interview with Alice Zilberberg
Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art/photography-
AZ: I started drawing and painting when I was very young. I started playing around with manipulating images even before I shot my own. When I picked up a camera in my last year of high school, I saw that I liked the detail that the medium of photography gave me, as well as the dichotomy of the real/unreal that I was able to achieve using digital painting. I’ve been working in this style since.
Jupilings: The fundamental principle in your creations-
AZ: I would say that principles change during different periods in my creation. At the moment I am emphasizing trying every idea that I have, without being scared, and eliminating expectations of what it “needs” to be.
Jupilings: What is your perspective on life-
AZ: I always try to keep in mind that we have a limited amount of time here, and death is inevitable. We should try to enjoy and explore things we want to create or do as much as possible.
Jupilings: What are you aiming for in your art-
AZ: My latest work asks questions pertaining to the state of being, particularly our relationships, whether to ourselves or others. In it a find a kind of peace that I hope helps others look inward and find answers about their emotionality.
Jupilings: What surprises you most in life, even though as an artist/photographer, you narrate dreams, ideas, out of ordinary situations,..through images-
AZ: I’m surprised by different things, and I am used to the surprise. I think it’s important to keep learning and exploring as much as possible in the world. I think being curious and asking many questions is a really healthy thing, which provides you with wisdom for your next step in life.
Jupilings: What motivates you to take pictures, is it an emotional state, philosophy of life, politics or advocacy-
AZ: The creative process is a therapeutic one for me, and I hope that my work inspires others to look inward as well. It’s about trying to make sense of the complex human condition, to provide some sort of relief and even a sense of control over our lives.
Jupilings: Do you have a preference in camera, software or technology ? & why-
AZ: I am not a technology-oriented person. I’ve always been in the mindset of getting your hands on enough to create what you want to create. We often get carried away with all the technology can do, instead of thinking of what we need to do what we already do.
Jupilings: Which photographer has influenced you most-
The works of many photographers inform my work, but I think my ultimate favorite artist is Salvador Dali.
Jupilings: What is your favourite subject to capture-
AZ: I rarely think of my work as photographing just one subject; photography becomes a kind of canvas for me on which to create and paint over, making an image that feels like a digital painting rather than a subject. My favorite thing to work on is whatever I’m working on currently since the excitement, and the possibilities take over me.
Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?
AZ: It means being in touch with yourself, your cravings, and needs. Going for it no matter what gender you are.
Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist/photographer-
AZ: I think that when you are starting out, it is important to just focus on creating whatever you want, without labels, branding, or anything. As soon as you are put into a box and labeled, it could be restrictive to your work, and you could kill the very creativity in you that drew you to create in the first place. Later on, it might be more important to develop a language around your work that you feel represents you.
Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-
AZ: When something overwhelms me, I just take the first step in the direction of trying something. I then try to focus on the next step. I find that if I do this, I very quickly either get into a flow or see that the experiment is not working. I will learn and move on.
Jupilings: What are your thoughts about the blockchain technology especially in support of digital art?
AZ: I think different options to sell your art are always great, especially one that addresses the authentication problems for digital artists. I haven’t explored this area myself, but I look forward to seeing the changes in the art market.
Jupilings: Would you consider using the blockchain technology platform to reach global digital art/ photography enthusiasts? What are the problems in your industry do you want these platforms to solve-
I am open to it, I think the blockchain and art relationship is still evolving, and I look forward to seeing how it develops.
Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why-
AZ: I want to teleport to any place at any time, it would save me so much travel time and jetlag for any projects I’m working on.
Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor-
AZ: I would hate being the lead actor in any movie; I am terrible of being put on the spot!
Jupilings: What is your life motto-
AZ: This is your time to do whatever you want to do.