Are you a lover of art and culture? Or maybe you just enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of a vibrant city? Visit the V&A Waterfront’s Art In Public Places Initiative

Art In Public Places

2023 – The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is the perfect destination for you. This buzzing neighbourhood is home to the Art in Public Places initiative, a project that constantly adds new art installations, sculptures, murals and other creative interventions. The goal? To stimulate visitors with accessible art that is available 24/7. And the best part? It’s all free!

Below we’ll take a closer look at four of the many art sculptures you can discover when wandering around the V&A Waterfront’s Silo District. So get ready to immerse yourself in the rich South African art culture that surrounds you everywhere you go at the V&A Waterfront.

 Young Sailors by Sanell Aggenbach

Shaped like origami paper boats, these whimsical sculptures known as ‘Young Sailors’ allow children to step into the shoes of brave sailors, just like the adventurers who landed on Cape Town’s shores in the past.

Visitors can enjoy this interactive installation while parents take a break at nearby eateries. Kids are absolutely delighted by these one-of-a-kind sculptures made from concrete and fibreglass. Renowned Cape Town artist, Sanell Aggenbach collaborated with Manuel Mendes, a skilled boat-builder at the Waterfront, to bring these captivating sculptures to life.

Location: Silo District, alongside Zeitz MOCAA.

 Angular Mass by Michele Mathison

Artist Michele Mathison from Johannesburg was given the unique opportunity to create a sculpture for public display in the converted Zeitz MOCAA and Silo Hotel at the Waterfront. Using the five flywheels from the original grain-silo machinery dating back to 1921, Michele transformed these industrial objects into a fascinating work of art.

With the use of balanced stop motion, the kinetic and static sculpture successfully captures the rotational drive stored within the weight and size of the wheels and reveals their working potential. This exceptional piece of art preserves the history of the Silo District while presenting it in a remarkable, contemporary way.

Location: Silo District, outside Southern Guild.

Non-Violence by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd

 This remarkable bronze gun has been ingeniously ‘knotted,’ to disable its muzzle and prevent it from being used as a weapon. In doing so, it takes a bold and powerful stance against violence, skillfully utilising the form of the Colt Python Magnum.

 The mastermind behind this thought-provoking artwork is Swedish artist Reuterswärd, who had close ties to the late singer John Lennon’s family. Inspired by Lennon’s tragic murder, Reuterswärd created this piece as a  tribute to the musician’s unwavering vision of a peaceful world, beautifully encapsulated in his beloved song, Imagine.

 This symbolic sculpture, known as the ‘knotted gun,’ has transcended its original creation and now serves as a powerful symbol of peace and non-violence, embraced by numerous artists worldwide who seek to convey these essential values.

Location: Silo District, outside Radisson Red.

Still Life with Ice Cream Cone and Blue Cheese by Gavin Younge

Back in 1992, the V&A Waterfront saw the installation of its very first public artwork. Originally situated in Alfred Square, this monumental masterpiece was crafted by Gavin Younge. To bring this unique creation to life, Younge enlisted the help of two of his talented former students from Michaelis School of Fine Art, Graeme Germond and Joshua Miles. Together, they meticulously constructed this awe-inspiring artwork using materials commonly found in working harbours.

This sculpture challenges the notion of a ‘still life’ in a truly captivating manner. Traditionally associated with paintings, still lifes are not often encountered within the realm of sculptures. Hence, Younge’s unconventional portrayal of an upside-down ice cream cone perched on top of a wedge of cheese ignites a fresh perspective within the observer. The inspiration behind these striking forms draws upon the artistic philosophy of Paul Cezanne, who advocated for our interaction with nature through the recognition of fundamental shapes such as the cylinder, the sphere, and the cone. Through skillful combination, these forms converge to create a remarkable, almost surrealist, reality brought to life through the medium of art.

This artwork stands as a testament to the power of imagination, pushing boundaries, and inviting us to perceive the world through a fresh lens. It continues to captivate and inspire all who encounter it, offering a truly unique artistic experience amidst the vibrant energy of the V&A Waterfront.

Location: Silo District, West Garden.

There’s lots to do in the V&A Waterfront! 

Embark on a mesmerizing journey of artistic discovery at the V&A Waterfront, where a world of inspiring art awaits you in every corner.

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