Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans Paints Cape Town

WORDS Gina Dionisio PHOTOS Benjamin Malherbe

The PangeaSeed Foundation has announced the list of 11 South African and three international mural artists taking part in Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans, their renowned public art programme in Cape Town.

You might have already noticed the murals of mesmerising sea creatures popping up on the sides of buildings throughout Cape Town. They are all part of the Sea Walls: South Africa, presented by the Save Our Seas Foundation, public art programme.

Heading to Cape Town for the inaugural Sea Walls project in Africa will be Antonio Segura, aka DULK, a native of Spain famous for his surreal depictions of threatened animals. DULK and Germany’s Yeye Weller, whose powerful cartoon style has attracted clients such as Warner Bros and the New York Times, will join Si Omar (aka Cracked Ink), the British street artist based in New Zealand known for his character-based, monochromatic creations.

DULK, Weller and Cracked Ink will join top South African artists Amy Lee Tak, Aweh Migo, Breeze Yoko, Care One, DBongz, Marie-Louise Koen, Marti Lund, Sonny Behan, Stefan Smit, and Dirty Native Njabulo Hlophe to add more works to PangeaSeed’s network of more than 500 murals in 19 countries created by more than 400 artists utilising the motto: A Drop of Paint Can Create an Ocean of Change.

Marti Lund’s artwork – the first of 13 public murals to be completed – is a mark of solidarity for efforts to prevent unregulated mining up the West Coast, where hundreds of kilometres of pristine coastline are being mined for diamonds and heavy minerals, with many more under threat.

Marti Lund’s mural on a wall at Gardens Commercial High School

The murals aim to inspire ocean stewardship through visual storytelling, drawing on local environmental and historical challenges.

In Newlands, the work by DBongz will pay homage to its location on a wall on the side of the Cape Town headquarters of the South African National Deaf Association. Armed with buckets and tools to collect ocean plastics, a young child signals via sign language his intent to protect endangered species whose natural habitats are being destroyed by humans.

Apart from the actual work in locations such as Gardens, Kalk Bay, Newlands, Muizenberg, Cape Town CBD, and Salt River, visitors can enjoy a week-long, free-to-the-public programme that includes a youth outreach at local schools, a coastal cleanup, and self-guided driving tours to the murals. Sea Walls: South Africa, in partnership with SJ Artists and Wavescape, will culminate in a free community event at Jack Black’s Taproom that features short film screenings and a panel discussion at the intersection between science, art and activism.

“Our collaboration with Sea Walls puts Cape Town on a global map as a special leg on a unique tour of art and activism that brings to life how critically important the oceans are to our survival. It’s also a way to leave behind a legacy for Cape Town residents and our artistic community to engage with each other, and feel part of the global Sea Walls family, who make such a visual impact in the quest to protect our oceans,” says Project Manager for Sea Walls: South Africa Shani Judes.

Follow Sea Walls: Artist for Oceans on Instagram to keep tabs on all the murals currently being painted.

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