John Faul


"I grew up in the hinterland of South Africa, the Karoo – an arid and semidesert area. My dad was a sheep farmer. He died from brain cancer. His life was so unfinished. Afterwards my mom suffered from prolonged depression. I was only 8. I was sent to a brown house, a place of scarcity and pain. Nightmares were my companions. After I graduated from high school I eventually studied medicine. Symptoms always intrigued me as they’re like visitors who bring messages from places beyond. The physical and emotional suffering of others imprinted deep marks on me. As opportunities arose, I immigrated to Canada where I eventually ended practicing family medicine and expressive arts therapy in Calgary for 20 plus years. 


During my midlife I suffered from my own symptoms of melancholy. I felt disillusioned, disconnected, and dreadful.   I chose not to be medicated, but rather start to draw and paint again; my first drawings were when I was 9. What, or rather who, that’s moving from the deeps of my psyche intrigues me.  With art making, I find portholes where inner awareness of who is so present, is made visible through the language of color, shapes, and forms. I returned to art school and graduated with my BFA (painting major) and currently completing my MFA (visual studies).


My drawings, paintings, and sculptures are expressive and spontaneous. Distorted symbolic images with bright colors add to my expressive voice. My work continues to be large abstractions done in mixed media with various mark makings of the human body and our relationships. Painting is what I do. I paint fulltime. Committed. I paint, because I have to. I sense that I’m eventually emerging. There are not many answers. Yet."