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NOT JUST ANOTHER CHIP IN THE WALL
|19 May 2016|
Tshwane – Ever been mesmerised with a face? A new look, a welcoming smile?
Well 012central has an interesting addition that will take the grey out of the city, kill the blues and allow a little sunshine back into the precinct once again.
012central is the antipathy of the grey city centre. It is lively, vibrant, passionate and aims to envelope the city centre in a new and fresh outlook. Hence a new face on the 012central precinct.
The face, in the shape of an encapsulating mural, takes City Property’s commitment to public art and purposeful spaces a step further. It invites a different side to the normal grey buildings, focusing on life, passion and art to showcase a city that is changing and is growing every minute of the day.
City Property, the strategic partner behind the 012central precinct was looking for a piece to showcase the “new face” of the capital city.
“We were looking for a local artist to do something to show the re-birth in our city. After the 2014 Cool Capital Biennale, we met up with Selwyn Steyn, a Fine Arts and Commerce student at the University of Pretoria. Our brief was to do something that epitomises Tshwane. Selwyn presented the concept of “the ordinary citizen”,” explains Jeffrey Wapnick, managing director of City Property.
Steyn explains that the piece is inspired by the people of the capital city and that the heart and soul of the city is the ordinary citizen. This piece serve as a homage to them. “For me the city has enormous potential to become the cultural epicentre of our country,” he said. “We can still decide and build on our city’s cultural make up and this in an immense privilege.”
This passionate and hardworking student has a deep need to ensure social empowerment for South Africans through his art. Steyn explains “my art is generally well balanced between being conceptual and perceptual whilst being relevant and visually appealing.”
Steyn and assistant Henk Vryenhoek chiselled Gallo MacGubani's face from the plaster to create the piece. They painstakingly removed the plaster from the wall. This textured approach is similar to the process of preparing a linoleum print in printmaking. He explains that the technique is fairly difficult as one only has two colour or tonal variations to work with. To get around this one has to eliminate certain amount of plaster in specific areas to allow for the viewer’s eyes to read certain areas as “greys” or tonal values in between the light and dark. The medium is also fairly unforgiving – one must be fairly purposeful with every mark made.”
“With the Cool Capital Biennale only a couple of months away, we wanted to set the scene for this year’s Biennale by adding another art piece to the inner city of Tshwane. Public art is very important and we are committed to the arts. It engages with people. We’ve used 012central as an opportunity to commission young artist to produce public art which he has done very well. With time there is opportunity to do even more.”
In fact, 012central have put an art map together for people who are interested in pieces to come and view them and interact with them when visiting the precinct. The map is also available from the info kiosk at the main entrance of 012central.
Gallo MacGubani says he feels excited and blessed. “For me this is not just a wall on a building somewhere in the city, this is a picture of me on a wall in one of my favourite buildings in the city. 012central is one of the places I love to associate myself with. I always follow the events that are happening at the venue.
MacGubani believes that there is a definite re-birth happening in the city and it is wonderful to see the creativity out there from regular people in the CBD. Steyn agrees, saying “I am incredibly excited for what the next few years hold for the city and I hope to be as strongly a part of the city’s awakening as possible.”
“It has always been our intention to utilise our role in the city as a catalyst for transforming Tshwane into a city with a vibrant soul. Our commitment to arts in the city is part of this and forms part of our broader aim of driving urban transformation in the city we love,” Wapnick concluded.
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Lize Nel - Marketing Specialist
082 448 8293
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