Transport for Cape Town, the City of Cape Town’s transport authority, has launched a map and an interactive link on the MyCiTi website with information about the artwork at the MyCiTi stations in celebration of Heritage Month.
More than 50 artworks, including mosaic works, sculptures, ceramics, mural paintings, drawings, sandblasted images and spray-painted street art or graffiti, have been installed at MyCiTi stations across the city since May 2010.
‘Thousands of MyCiTi commuters and visitors to Cape Town pass through these stations every month. Yet I am convinced that very few are acquainted with the purpose and theme of the art at the stations, the artists who created it, the inspiration for the art, and what it is trying to communicate to those who engage with it. We therefore came up with the idea some 14 months ago to create a location map of the artwork along the MyCiTi routes and an interactive link on the MyCiTi website with information about the art and the artists. It took a lot of planning and creativity to get it all together, and we are extremely excited about the end-product which has been finished in time for Heritage Month,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.Those interested in learning more about the artwork at the MyCiTi stations can use the following link: www.myciti.org.za/en/myciti-art. Some of the information featured includes:
a route map indicating the MyCiTi stations where the artwork is located
photos of the artwork
information about the themes and purpose of the art
information about the artists
videos of the artists talking about their work and what they want to communicate to the onlooker
live introduction to the art by curator Roger van Wyk
The MyCiTi art project derives from similar art projects along metropolitan subway systems around the world such as in New York, London and Moscow, and the public transport system in Sao Paulo.
‘The purpose of art in transport is to connect the commuters to the physical location, to rouse their interest in the surroundings, and to enhance their experience of commuting itself by adding a bit of theatre to the occasion. The art portrays the cultural heritage of Cape Town and gives commuters a sense of the history of the neighbourhoods they are travelling through and the culture and roots of those living there,’ said Councillor Herron.
The sandblasted images of the artwork titled ‘A Random History of Cape Town 1499 – 1994’ at the Airport station were created by the internationally acclaimed artist Sue Williamson. The murals at the MyCiTi station in Atlantis were created by the world famous artist Faith47 – a self-taught graffiti artist from Cape Town. Artist Julia Anastasopoulos designed the illustrations at the Civic Centre station, Zwelethu Machepha created the artwork at the Usasaza MyCiTi station, and Thami Mbenekazi created those at Killarney, to name but a few.
The themes of the artwork range from environmental issues to youth and identity, to urbanisation, migration, movement, and even humour.
‘Very few people have access to art galleries. At the MyCiTi stations we incorporate art into the everyday lives of ordinary people as they travel to work or school. The artwork is something to look at and to think about. It is functional and fun. It tells us more about Cape Town, our history and of who we are. I encourage our residents to visit the link and to hop onto a MyCiTi bus to view the artworks across the city, or to pay closer attention next time they pass through a MyCiTi station,’ said Councillor Herron.