Max Goldin and Kevin Ngwenya added a splash of colour to the Sea Point promenade when they painted artworks on the walls of the Milton pool public toilets.
There are older art works on the sea-facing walls, and they all have a common theme of preserving the environment.
The mural by Goldin aka Tonton, titled Sea Side Circus, features an Augmented Reality (AR) activation that is visible via a QR code on a smartphone.
“I use allot of colour and play in my artworks. I like to balance shapes and use modern abstracts that try to spark the imaginantion of people, sort of feritliser for the imagination,” Mr Goldin told Atlantic Sun
He painted the mural using a paint brush and exterior wall paint, over a period of two weeks while Johan Walters created the animation that is activated via a QR code.
“I think it’s a cool place for a mural and the idea is for it be part of the environment of the promenade and to bring in the fun elements of this place that is a dog-centric space. There’s always lots of people walking their dogs. This is where the digital dog comes in and its’ a first for me merging the digital with real world space,” he said.
“Max and I were introduced by Shani (Judes, the curator of the art project) and we had a few conversations about his idea, and I had to explain how AR worked and how it could work with his idea” said Mr Walters, a digital specialist with www.augmentedcities.co.za
“So we made this mural come to life with the animation to hopefully it will surprise and delight the people that take a closer look.”
Mr Ngwenya’s spray-painted mural is titled Love Ulwandle, meaning love the ocean.
“I wanted this to be an inclusive piece so I brought language into it, and the different colours represent the different elements of the ocean. The lady is just an animation I came up with so it’s not anyone specific,” Mr Ngwenya said.
“Shani Judes offered the space to me and I was delighted to take on this opportunity to showcase my work at the promenade and to articulate ocean awareness and recycling through art,” said Mr Ngwenya who is known as Kev7 in the art world.
Ms Judes, founder of SJ Artists and director of The Wavescape Surf & Ocean festival, said the art works would be replaced once enough funds were raised.
“I’m very aware that public art is an incredibly sensitive space to work in and I have to be very thoughtful of all the elements and how various projects are run,” she said.
“I have to make sure that we do not over clutter the space, be inclusive, be sensitive to branding and make sure we keep within the City’s by-laws and most of all think about the artists and the public and how the artworks/projects all fit together.
“I’m always open for comments and complaints and the only real complaints come from community members who think the City is funding the works, however it is all privately funded as I am aware that there are far more pressing issues that need to be paid for by the City,” said Ms Judes.
The murals and photographs are not just for visual enjoyment. There are 22 photographs that on the sea side wall of the promenade selected from entries in a photography competition that highlight the role of the NSRI.
“I pitched The Ocean competition to (photographic company) Orms and Canon to run alongside the Wavescape Surf and Ocean Festival. All parties involved were excited by the idea and so we made it come to life.
“Orms had mentioned at some point that it would be good to somehow give more to the community so I thought if there was an NSRI call to action panel it might be a useful tool to raise funds for the NSRI. The Wavescape Festival supports the NSRI through our ArtBoard project where we invite artists to paint surfboards which we auction and the money raised goes to various ocean organisations one of them being the NSRI,” said Ms Judes.
Ward 54 councillor, Nicola Jowell, thanked Ms Judes and the artists for their efforts to colour and uplift the public facilities.
“I am a firm supporter of public art and would love to see more of the city’s infrastructure, where appropriate, used in this manner. It adds to the look and interest of the Promenade and certainly enhances the users’ experience,” said Ms Jowell.
“I would encourage any person who is interested in public art and would like to do similar projects to engage with the city. There is currently a process under way to relook at the stand-alone art installations on the Promenade but in terms of painted murals there is limited space but there is a process whereby artists can submit applications for permits to undertake this.”
Ms Judes said the wall paintings could last for seven years depending on the paint they use as well as environmental factors.
“With these being so close to the ocean elements they can deteriorate a bit faster, so we will be replacing them on a rotating basis. Permits are typically up to about two years, with the option of extension. It would be wonderful to get more funding so we can replace them on a two yearly basis and give more artists a chance to paint here,” she said.