21st Faith


We are a collaborative research project, investigating and questioning faith as a human feeling. 

This publication presents 32 creative projects created for an exhibition in October 2017 at The Workshop, Lambeth. 


Look What They’ve Done

To My Song,

by Sam McDermott

& Nik Rawlings.

The concept for this project came to Nik and Sam when they were discussing

the similarities and differences in religious upbringings. They discovered that although

they both came from the Anglican church, they experienced the church differently,

where one was more conservative and the other more liberal. They found in each other

similar feelings attributed to the worship.

The focal point of their involvement with the church was focused on the musical aspects.

They wanted to approach 21st Faith asking whether musicians in the church performed

for their own personal gratification as a performer or to worship the higher power.

While developing the project, Sam and Nik went to interview members of the church

and worship team. Through this process, they discovered that there was a significant

element of personal gratification through being in a position of performance. Whilst the

focal point of the church and music was to lead people to worship God, there was an open

recognition of the members involved in the band that they received stimulation from

performing in front of the congregation and noticing positive responses to their actions.

Following these discoveries, the sonic piece that Sam and Nik created had to reflect

their similarities and differences between their church based performance experiences.

21st Faith: Tell us about you and your


Sam: I am a born and raised Londoner

who always been interested in music.

When this piece was created, my practice

primarily focused on the curation of artists

performance. I am now more interested

in set design and building.

Nik: I am a sound artist, dj and writer,

having started life singing in a cathedral

in the West Country.

My practice focuses on vocal networks

and mutable sonic bodies.

What drew you to take part in 21st Faith?

How is faith important to you and your


S: Through Rebecca I took part in this

project. Faith to me now is separated from

religion and is defined by believing that

you can achieve what you want to do.

N: Faith spaces play a looming role

in my creative memory. The opportunity

to explore the power dynamics at play

within those spaces as a musician was

a great chance to explore and exorcise

some ghosts.

What role do you think faith will play in

the 21st century?

S: As religion becomes more and

more diluted, Faith will become less

institutionalised and more personalised.

N: I can only speak personally, but faith

to me means simply not giving up against

unreasonable odds. And I feel like most

millennial artists have to rely heavily

on that kind of faith.

Sam: @666midwife / Nik: ni-ku.net, nik@ni-ku.net, @n_i_kuu