Massive public sculpture commissioned for PE

2015-11-25 06:23
Celebrated Eastern Cape artists Louwrens Westraad and Mxolisi “Dolla” Sapeta sit on the traffic circle at the end of Walker Drive upon which their winning design, ujiva, will be built. The massive 7m tall and 7.5m wide public sculpture will be one of

Celebrated Eastern Cape artists Louwrens Westraad and Mxolisi “Dolla” Sapeta sit on the traffic circle at the end of Walker Drive upon which their winning design, ujiva, will be built. The massive 7m tall and 7.5m wide public sculpture will be one of

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

TWO of the Eastern Cape’s most celebrated artists, Mxolisi “Dolla” Sapeta and Louwrens Westraad, have claimed the top honours in the search by Baywest for a sculpture which celebrates Nelson Mandela Bay and its residents.

The design, titled ujiva (Xhosa for dancing), was chosen out of a shortlist of 18 submissions from throughout the region, netting the duo a R50 000 cash prize and the bragging rights of designing and developing one of the tallest public art sculptures in the metro.

In keeping with the brief that submissions speak to the spirit of the Baywest City development – namely a passion for fun; a hub of excitement; and festive celebrations – the duo concluded that the act of dancing embodied all the required aspects of the brief.

“Dance in Africa is considered to be an important method of communication. This art form is practised in various styles throughout our vast continent,” said the duo in their statement of intent which accompanied their submission. “The artwork in part also represents the resilient energy of the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, who symbolically light up our ‘Friendly City’.”

Work on the massive sculpture will start early next year. It will be positioned on the new traffic circle at the end of Sherwood’s Walker Drive, near to Baywest Mall and the new off-ramp to the N2 freeway.

Constructed out of steel, ujiva will also feature multi-coloured solar-powered LED lights, with the solar panels installed at the top of the sculpture.

“In the beginning I thought of designing a giant orb, but that was a little too abstract,” said Westraad.

“This is an apolitical sculpture for the city. The dancers do not belong to any specific race or creed; they are universal and represent fluidity, endurance and strength.”

Sapeta said the design “allows for a lot of interactivity using dance.”

“This is in contrast to our highly politicised landscape. When you’re dancing, you’re free. The spherical nature of the sculpture relates to Africa with its rondavels and traditional meetings which take place with people sitting in a circle.”

Competition coordinator Cedric Vanderlinden, owner and director of Park Drive’s Underculture Contemporary fine arts gallery, said the calibre of entries meant the judging panel had a hard time choosing an overall winner.

“The good news for the other great submissions is that Baywest is interested in commissioning those artists for public art which will be dotted throughout the Baywest City precinct,” said Vanderlinden.

Baywest City MD Gavin Blows said the response to the call for submissions had shown the immense talent embedded in the region.

“Our aim is to celebrate and profile all that this wonderful region has to offer,” said Blows.

“As Baywest, we are supporters of art in general and urban art in particular. Urban art has the wonderful ability to provide soul to an area, and this piece will be followed by more over time. Supporting local artists is key to this campaign.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Convicted cop killer 'sorry'

2016-09-29 05:44

Inside News24

INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.