South African artist Faith XVLII has just completed this 11.000 square foot mural in Philadelphia. It invites us to get inspired by the challenges we find in our lives, rather than beaten down.
Produced by Mural Arts Philadelphia, “The Silent Watcher” by Faith XVLII is an invitation to optimism. It reads: “Optimism is a strategy for making a better future”, a quote by philosopher Noam Chomsky -who was born in Philadelphia and is 91 years old this year.
Faith XVLII: 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.
With this mural, the South African artist reflects on the fact that the harsh experiences of life can easily make us fall into a negative world view, or inner psychological depression. However, we should learn how to transform our sufferings into wisdom.
Enjoy the making-of video of this stunning mural by Faith XVLII:
Header photo by Steve Weini