In my painting I have depicted these three figures as a mixture of definitions from several traditions of thought and theology.
Faith is about belief and trust. It is an essential part of love. This can range from self belief and trusting our own intuition, to believing in and trusting another person or ‘higher power’. I have illustrated this by combining a figure in nuns clothing with 3 lotus flowers in various stages of development (birth, life and death). In Buddhism, the lotus signifies the progress of the soul, because it grows from the primeval muddy waters of materialism in to the sunlight of enlightenment. This character is thus a message about having faith and not worrying about the future, because the universe will provide.
My hope character has a rainbow design on his clothing and caries a book of knowledge, signifying that self education can give hope. By using our knowledge we can take calculated risks and set realistic goals, that allow us to have a future to look forward to.
Charity is the act of giving and showing kindness to other. It is often symbolised by the image of the heart. My character was inspired by the Sikh faith, who are currently very active feeding the victims (of all faiths) during the current global financial crisis. They give 10% of their earnings (called ‘daswandh’) to the ‘community kitchen’. My character has a plate full of hearts, symbolising the many people from this religion who are actively involved in this act of unprejudiced kindness.