WORDS Robyn Alexander IMAGES Shaun Sebastian
Good things can come from bad situations: when Covid-19 arrived and local art collective Ilukuluku’s long-planned project for 2020’s AfrikaBurn event could no longer go ahead, the collective (together with inspirational UK designer Morag Myerscough) found a way to create something with a wonderful legacy anyway.
In partnership with Bright Sparks – which provides space for extramural creative play for children aged 1 to 6 years, and is focused on improving educational outcomes for children in under-resourced communities – they spent part of the lockdown upgrading a Cape Flats school.
Ilukuluku mobilised a team of volunteers, including a consulting architect, designers, and renowned mural painter Tim Bopper and his team. Soon the school – Disneyland Educare in Tuscany Glen – was being given a makeover that included extensive structural repairs and a dazzling new paint job.
Award-winning designer Myerscough created the murals that now adorn the façade, entrance and interiors of the school – they incorporate the bold geometric patterns and bright colours for which she is so well-known around the world.
The resulting space inspires and stimulates learning; it also feels safe, nurturing and playful. The upgrade was completed in less than two weeks while the school was vacant due to the lockdown, and on a minimal budget too – all the paint was donated by Dulux.
“This project has been dear to my heart since its inception in February 2018, when I first met with Morag to talk about the Temple of Curiosity for AfrikaBurn,” says Ilukuluku creative director Shaun Sebastian. “Countless hours have gone into preparing the artwork, and the crew have made massive personal sacrifices.” School principal Priscilla Collison adds, “This is a new beginning for us.”