New projects from M5 ark artists

2019-07-30 06:00
The Ship of Ubuntu is created with a face to represent the community looking towards the future.

The Ship of Ubuntu is created with a face to represent the community looking towards the future.

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Since erecting the jaw-dropping ship sculpture on the M5 near Muizenberg, the creatives behind the impressive sign of hope have taken on new works to continue to spread their positive message.

Anteeno Hendericks and Keenan Mowers are trainers at the Sozo Foundation in Vrygrond and two of the masterminds behind the work of art that can be seen outside Capricorn Square Shopping Centre.

The artwork, known as the Ship of Ubuntu, was conceptualised and completed in collaboration with renowned artist Libre Gutierrez from Mexico, 16 students from the foundation, the Vrygrond Community Development Forum, and students from the EDvance programme from the United States of America (USA).

Hendericks explains: “We just wanted to give back to the community that has served us good. People think the community is rundown and bad news but we want to show them that there’s a lot of good, and people willing to do what we do; they just need a bigger platform and the support. You can use your talent, your art and your creativity to do something big.”

Mowers added that he wanted people who are living in Vrygrond to be made aware that they don’t need to take mainstream forms of work, and can rather build on their talents and passions.

“There is so much amazing, creative talent in the community and they end up becoming plumbers or builders because their talent wasn’t exposed enough at school, and that’s why I started teaching graphic design at the foundation.”

He continues: “The objective was to show people that you can have your talent and make something of it by using things from all around.”

He says the team of 40 also wanted the art piece to turn the narrative around and find a way to close the divides formed by socio-economic inequalities. “How are we going to change the point of view of the other communities? How are we going to bridge the gap between Marina Da Gama and Vrygrond?”

The inspiration for the piece was the history of the area, which was previously a fisherman’s village, hence the sculpture taking the form of a ship. It also symbolises that the community has progressed from a village to an area with built brick homes, and that they are making progress to improve the conditions. They also sought to represent unity by adding the houses of the community on board.

Soon after creating their statement piece, Mowers and Hendericks completed a mural at Steenberg High School, last week.

The mural was designed by a Grade 9 learner; with Mowers, Hendricks and the volunteer programme, Projects Abroad, being brought on the project to create a large scale replica of the piece on the school wall.

Speaking to his motivation to do the mural, Mowers says he wants to encourage people to express themselves through their creativity and by telling their stories in any way they know how.

“Here’s an opportunity to tell someone younger, that you can tell your own story and hopefully in future, you can tell someone else’s story so that stories in each community live on and you build a legacy for the community,” he says.

The duo has launched their initiative, Project Wall to Wall, to help build these legacies by doing commissioned paintings for anyone looking to create display pieces.

Mowers concludes: “What we want to tell people is that if just 10 people can do so much, imagine what we could do as a community. We want to start putting out positive things – and this will not be the last.”V For more information contact Keenan Mowers at the Sozo Foundation on 021 825 5529.

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