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Faith47 artwork on xenophobia lights up Joburg skyline


Faith47 was one of four artists who took part in the second edition of Drawings in the Sky, running alongside Art Week Joburg. Drawings in the Sky displayed artworks on the iconic ABSA Lumen Display in the Johannesburg CBD.  Crowning the 29-storey tower, these four massive LED screens are almost twice the size of a basketball court, are visible 1.5km away, and were hailed as the world’s largest when they launched in 2013.

Faith47’s contribution, Feet Don’t Fail Me Now, translated the words ‘home,’ ‘sanctuary’ and ‘ache’ into various languages spoken on the African continent, from Amharic to Zulu, from Arabic to Xhosa, using a custom-designed font hand-inscribed on cardboard.


“These are emotive words,” says Faith47. “We may not understand the different translations, but we can all identify with the layered meanings behind them. While language, like culture, can divide us, essentially we all share the same deep-rooted human longings and feelings embodied within these words.”


Faith47 created the artwork as a response to the xenophobia in Johannesburg, which is home to people from across the continent. “I wanted to communicate with the city utilising the language of a larger African diaspora, reflecting on the meaning embedded in these words, in our globalised word, where we’re almost all immigrants of one generation or another.”

Faith47 thanks Inka Kendzia for the animation and compositing on Feet Don’t Fail Me Now, as well as Parts & Labour and ABSA for making Drawings in the Sky possible.



Feet Don’t Fail Me Now:


About Faith47

Faith47 is an internationally-acclaimed street and studio-based artist from Cape Town, South Africa. Following an active street art career spanning more than 15 years, her work can now be found in major cities around the world. Her upcoming solo show, Aqua Regalia, opens on Thursday, 19 November 2015 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York. For more information, explore her new website, or follow Faith47 on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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