Date project started:
2016 – ongoing project
Aim of project and outcomes

Arts and cultural activities have become an increasingly important part of urban regeneration in cities around the world. As part of the Greater Tygerberg Partnership’s efforts to revitalise the Bellville CBD and surrounding area, we would like to draw creatives into the area. One of our programmes we run is our Art in Action programme – with the intention to improve the general look and feel of our city. What we do is identify key areas which are used by thousands of commuters each day and we beautify the area with meaningful art, whether it be murals or small structures that speaks to the space and the people, while simultaneously supporting local art to uplift the facades and in so doing bring some colour and vibrancy to the area.

The aims of this project is to use street art as tool to:

  • Enhancing social cohesion
  • Improving local image
  • Reducing offending behaviour (such as vandalism on walls)
  • Promoting interest in the local environment
  • Exploring identities
  • Building private and public partnerships
Brief description of project

Worldwide, murals have become a wonderful, creative and cost effective tool in urban regeneration. In streets all over the world, street artists’ and are moving their work out of remote places and placing their art in the most traffic and pedestrianised places. For this project, we would like to use street art as displaying the vibrant cultural offerings within the Tygerberg region. Often there seems to exist a need for people to share and express themselves in a public way and generally it is frowned upon as it is seen as vandalism or illegal. Here we would like to open up our space and streets and why not utilise and incorporate street art to create a localised public identity, if it could uplift our community.

Bellville is the second busiest transport node in the City, receiving thousands of feet each day. Highlighted in our cultural study report; the urban landscape in the Bellville CBD offers numerous opportunities to display and celebrate the unique mix of cultures represented among the people using the public spaces. For this project we would like to transform public setting such as walls, floors, urban design, dilapidating infrastructure and signposts. The goal is for these works are to reach a diverse audience of local residents and daily commuters and it is hoped it will become a art destination in itself, as the upgrade of the area continues.

Project outcomes

Utilise mural art as a strategy for beautifying and creating a localised identity. The public response to the current mural has been phenomenal. This was an indication of how significance art can be on the urban culture. Newspapers and social media have been receiving positive responses and the locals have been very excited and supportive of these artworks in the area. These cold, concrete wall has really turned into something living, as people have started to proclaim their space taking pride in our Bellville.

One of our first murals sits right in the heart of our CBD – a wall (100m x 2.5m) has been identified, which was in a state of decay, and were to be used as a ‘canvass’ for our street mural. For this initial project, the GTP was fortunate to be able to commission renowned local artist, FalkoOne.

Born in Cape Town, Falko’s work is well known across boards and some argue that he may be one of the most earliest and influential street artist to hit the South African street art scene. In recent years, Falko has not only honoured walls in large cities but has also left his mark in unlikely places, such as small towns, Karoo dorpies and informal settlements all over South Africa. His favourite art subject; Elephants. Big, bold and vibrant elephants has become his trademark and can be seen in cities all over the world, like London, India, Johannesburg, Cape Town and now in our CBD as well. Elephants often portray a strong sense of community, unity and strength – which is what we aspired to in Bellville – A cohesive and inclusive community.

Location

GTP focus area of Bellville CBD and Parow.