Aqua Regalia or ‘royal water’ is the alchemical name for a highly corrosive mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acid that transmogrifies, dissolves and changes the most powerful substance – gold. In Aqua Regalia, Faith47 embeds found and created objects in an enshrined space, paying homage to the sacramental within the ordinary. Torn up begging cards, betting sheets, and discarded eviction notices suggest the fall-out of a lost struggle, while visions of supplicants insist upon the power of faith.An eclectic mash-up of art as fetish and art as rebooted trash object, Aqua Regalia reprises the core question which drives the artist at odds with the cynical neo-liberal force at work today. Such affinities and discordances between hope, yearning and faith seek to restore value and re-inscribe new meaning to the rejected, discarded, the lost or the overlooked.When combined with pictorial conjurings of some undivided divinity, the restoration of value to discarded things suggests a schism between the knowable and the unknowable, whether the divine resides inside the everyday, or whether it merely intimates an absent-presence. Ultimately it seems that we are dealing with a felt experience – part belief, part yearning.
Along with these found objects are pictorial representations of incarnated divinity: animals, sacred geometry and other symbols.
The question is – does the experience attest to the power of things over and above the human apprehension of them, or does the experience compel us to reconsider the object as indivisibly connected to the divine?
If the viewer remains unclear it is because this exhibition arrives at a point in history in which it has become impossible to decipher a future, to interpret history, let alone grasp the present.
By combining found objects and art-incarnate thoughts, Aqua Regalia presents an immersive experience as much as a viewing. In this sacred space, Faith47 asks us to reconsider, and feel the hidden, embattled role of the spirit in a secular realm.
Chapter One of Aqua Regalia ran from 9-19 October 2014 at Moniker Projects in London.