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‘Rainbow Nation’ – an urban art intervention

June 18th, 2014

The Spier Arts Academy staged a colourful urban intervention last week on the Waterkant Pedestrian Bridge in Cape Town. The urban artwork was devised to celebrate our nation’s 20 years of democracy, and also as a good old public display of affection – for the city.

The temporary installation comprises vinyl strips of rainbow colours lining the edge of each step of the bridge. Aptly named “Rainbow Nation”, it calls for a revival of the collective optimism that marked the start of South Africa’s democracy – not as na├»ve, wishful thinking, but rather as a considered, citizen-owned approach to nation building.

The beautiful pedestrian bridge, which carries the Fan Walk over Buitengracht street, provided the perfect location for such a statement. The bridge is reminiscent of the incredible buzzing crowd during the 2010 Soccer World Cup – a kind of landmark of collective celebration – and is a democratic structure that serves the majority of city commuters (pedestrians rather than car users). Ideally the intervention would also encourage pedestrians to use the bridge rather than the more hazardous road-level crossing.

Each section of colour on the vinyl strips was produced using a purely RGB colour theory model, i.e. each colour is made up of only red, green and blue, in varying proportions. Colour theory is one of the subjects taught at the Spier Arts Academy – a subject vital to the fine art of translating designs into different mediums.

The urban intervention therefore also served as an opportunity for the Academy to engage with the public and recruit new apprentices. Current apprentices were at hand during installation to chat to interested passersby and distribute flyers about the Academy and its available courses.

The Academy is now open for applications for its 2015 intake, and will host its ever-popular open days on 1-2 August. For more information, please visit our enrolment page.

 

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