This past Tuesday, due to my unwired personality I had forgotten an important accessory that people use to keep pieces of paper that have printed animals on them. Those pieces of paper are commonly known as the South African currency of Rand notes, that one could potentially use to barter for a cup of hot coffee and lunch on a unexpected cold day! I called in a favour, and dashed to a friends office by Harrington street and while finding parking nearby there was an art installation unravelling on an awkward gate situated between two buildings.
Intrigued by the installation. I met with the artist, and asked him about the project. He told me that it was an installation project for Cape Town’s Creative Week, and kindly asked me to join his crew while he explained the project to me.
He introduced himself as Heath. I took out out my notebook and started jotting notes, only to find that it was Heath Nash in person. I’ve always admired his works, followed his blog, and I felt a rush of my cheeks brightening up with excitement when the Nash word came to play during the informal interview. He has made amazing pieces, and contributed immensely back to society, and all of which is achieved through his gentle and friendly persona. See his website here.
He had previously done a similar project in a Cape Town township, Khayelitsha using just white pieces which can be seen here. Heath brought a stash of his recycled plastic bits from his studio, and with those bits, he’d initiate in creating windmill like contraptions on the grids of the gate. I later noticed that there was no crew! Everyone assisting were by-passers, students, homeless, anyone and everyone. It was a community-driven project.
Putting the pieces together was incredibly fun. However, it was quite challenging to get them to spin when the wind blew.
After my few unsuccessful designs, the strangers that soon felt like friends encouraged, and gave a few tips and tricks. Heath sat down patiently, and showed what he had discovered to work best for this particular design. I finally managed to make one that spun with the wind. That little windmill reinforced the idea of “Simple, and yet functional”
The rain started to pour, and the few left there were still happily creating more pieces. Eventually, the weather wiped the operation to a halt. Nevertheless it still looked beautiful!
One of the volunteers was so inspired while beautifying Cape Town that day, and has organized for the project to continue today from 10am-12pm. It would be really worth your time to add your bit of love into the streets of Cape Town. It’s at the corner of Harrington & Barrack Street, directly next to The Bank offices.
Why was this an unexpected love affair? I left that day feeling as if I were falling in love again for the first time. Falling in Love in with Cape Town! A place where spontaneous sparks are just around the corner on any odd given day.