Eastern Cape artists and members of the public are racking their brains to come up with innovative and engaging designs which could earn them R50,000 in the R500,000 Baywest urban art competition, with calls for entries closing on 26 June 2015.
“We’ve had a fair bit of interest and we expect a significant number of entries,” said competition coordinator Cedric Vanderlinden, owner and director of Park Drive’s Underculture Contemporary fine arts gallery. “A large number of queries have been coming from the general public, and not just from professional sculptors. People still have until June 26 to submit works.”
Prolific Bay artist Banele Njadayi, whose works depicting township life have been exhibited abroad in galleries such as Chicago’s Gallery Guichard, and Duncan Stewart, whose 2010 Soccer World Cup inspired art decorates the No. 5 Boutique Art Hotel in Summerstrand, have teamed up for the project.
Both artists are submitting individual designs for the competition, as well as a collaborative effort.
Final entries could be submitted to the centre management offices at Baywest Mall, said Vanderlinden, adding: “This work needs to be unique and inspiring. It must also speak to the mall’s brand values which include a passion for fun, connecting people, inspiring energy, and innovation.”
Once complete, the winning artwork will become a permanent fixture at a new traffic circle, which is 30m in diameter and is situated at the end of Sherwood’s Walker Drive, leading to the Baywest Mall and the Baywest City development. The specifications for the sculpture state that it should be at least 7m tall.
Local artists residing within a 150km footprint of the mall – defined as the mall’s “footfall” area – have until the end of June to submit original designs of the works they propose creating. The artist or artists presenting the winning entry will be awarded a R50,000 prize at a special ceremony later this year, with the budget for the artwork set at R500,000. A Baywest technical team will be on hand to help with the construction of the work.
“For me, Baywest represents something for everyone, and that is something which is inspiring my design,” said Njadayi. “I want to create something which is retail-related, which speaks to the mall.”
For Stewart, going abstract was alluring.
“I am thinking about designing abstract forms which play with the space and the air,” he said. “It could be something minimalist which could be fairly easily fabricated within the specified budget.”
Both artists, who work from Stewart’s Richmond Hill studio, said it was important for business to support the arts.
“Both art and business play vital roles in the health of the community,” said Stewart. “Art supports business by inspiring and innovating. As artists infect the city, it breeds hope and raises the profile of the region. Tourism and investment are boosted.”
Baywest City MD Gavin Blows said the art project spoke to the developers’ core commitment to the community.
“Our aim is to celebrate and profile what the Eastern Cape has to offer. As we start with the opening season of the mall, with new exciting tenants beginning to trade over the next few months, we are commencing with our ‘urban art’ campaign which will highlight the exciting and innovative talent in our community.”
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