A massive new mural in Cape Town has been unveiled, the result of a collaboration between Baz-Art, the Ukrainian Embassy, Boxwood Property and the city.
The redevelopment of Cape Town’s last remaining city block has kicked off with the unveiling of this towering street art mural. Measuring a massive six metres by 10 storeys high, a surrealistic lighthouse fronts the vertical space on the corner of Strand and Loop Street, symbolically linking the city to the sea and its maritime heritage.
Renowned 53-year old Ukrainian street artist Aleksandr Nikitiuk, whose murals often mix realism and surrealism, took six days to complete the project with the help of local Cape Town-based street artists.
Boxwood Property Fund owns the entire city block which fronts Bree, Loop, Castle and Strand Streets − comprising three separate buildings − which it acquired late last year for a total of R220 million. This is the last remaining city block that can be redeveloped in the city and Boxwood plans to invest a further R800 million to rejuvenate the existing buildings to create premium grade retail and offices with associated parking.
The fabric of the buildings will be retained whilst an emphasis will be placed on creating an interesting streetscape and incorporating exciting architecture.
Boxwood Property Fund CEO, Rob Kane explains, “We wanted to use this prominent site as the ‘canvas’ for an exciting street art project and we teamed up with local NGO, Baz-Art to help us find a suitable artist for a project of this scale. We were also fortunate enough to have had the support of local construction company, R+N Master Builders who provided the scaffolding work at cost,” added Kane.
“We are very grateful to the city for giving us approval for the artwork. Everyone involved has seen the value-add of the mural. In addition to creating a more interesting streetscape, the project has employed local artists, contractors, scaffold crews and the like. It has also exposed Cape Town to the creativity of the Ukraine and our collaboration with them has been great. It is difficult to see a downside.”
Nikitiuk was originally selected to participate in the International Public Art Festival held in Cape Town in February this year but was unable to attend at the time. Baz-Art, assisted by the Ukranian Embassy, eventually succeeded in bringing the artist to Cape Town in June to begin work on the super-sized lighthouse mural.