MURAL BY INTERNATIONAL ARTIST FAITH XLVII
Produced by MURAL ARTS PHILADELPHIA & created for UNIVERSITY SQUARE Complex
The Silent Watcher is an 11,000 square foot mural on the eastern wall of the University Square building, which is 19 stories high.
The mural has become a visual landmark and gateway from University City to West Philadelphia.
In the words of Faith XLVII;
‘I come from a country that is seething with the frustration of uncontrollable violence and woman abuse, xenophobia , class and racial divide.
And have moved to a country where there seems to be a fundamental crisis in the very soul of the nation.
We know this ache of our lands.
And we all know personal ache.
Everybody has their struggle to bear.
And with the weight of the world on our shoulders,
we must still be able to live with empathy
We must somehow keep our hearts open.
The words on this wall are a reference to the City Seal of Philadelphia with calls out for brotherly love.
This is no small commitment.
It also references a quote ‘Optimism is a strategy for a Better Future.’
Paying tribute to Noam Chomsky who was born in Philadelphia and is 91 years old this year. .
The harsh experiences of life can easily make us fall into a negative world view,
or inner psychological depression.
But we each have the ability to transform this base metal of knowing suffering,
into the gold of higher aspiration.
The name of this mural is ‘The Silent Watcher’
We can be the silent watcher, who knows, who loves and who endures.'
About the Artist
Faith XLVII is an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa who is currently based in Los Angeles. Through her work, she attempts to disarm the strategies of global realpolitik, in order to advance the expression of personal truth. In this way, her work is both an internal and spiritual release that speaks to the complexities of the human condition, its deviant histories and existential search. Channeling the international destinations that have been imprinted on her after two decades of interacting with urban environments as one of the most renowned and prolific muralists, she continues to examine our place in the world. Using a wide range of media intended for gallery settings, her approach is explorative and substrate appropriate, including found and rescued objects, shrine construction, painting, projection mapping, video installation, printmaking and drawings. The seeds for Faith’s works begin with a raw intimacy. Exploring the duality of human relationships, her imagery carries the profound weight of our interconnectedness. While some people see a dilapidated building as proof that the world is purging itself of the unwanted, Faith is reclaiming these forgotten elements with a sensuality of her own and presenting them with a virtuoso’s skill-set.
Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For over 30 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating nearly 4,000 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts aims to empower people, stimulate dialogue, and build bridges to understanding with projects that attract artists from Philadelphia and around the world, and programs that focus on youth education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness, and public art and its preservation. Popular mural tours offer a firsthand glimpse into the inspiring stories behind Mural Arts' iconic and unparalleled collection, which has earned Philadelphia worldwide recognition as the “City of Murals.”
Video by Chop 'em Down Films