To start 2021 with a bang, the International Public Art Festival (IPAF) launched the monumental land artwork, representing unity, mutual aid and common effort beyond geographical constraints, and features the longest human chain in the world. “Beyond Walls”, created by artist Saype depicts pairs of local hands painted on land in Seapoint, Philippi and Langa, which further intertwine from town to town across the world.
The monumental fresco is one of many memorable artworks that the street art festival offered. Attracting top talent from around the world, the IPAF is a platform for creatives to use their talents to bring communities together. As a global initiative with different chapters around the world, the Beyond Walls Project is an example of this in action. Cape Town represents the ninth stage. Previously the hands were depicted in Paris, Andorre, Genève, Berlin, Ouagadougou, Yamoussoukro, Turin and Istanbul.
Mother City of South Africa, Cape Town represents an essential step of the project due to its history marked by Apartheid. “Beyond Walls” symbolises the breaking down of political and social barriers among communities with the hope to further encourage positive dialogue. The hands will intertwine beyond inequality in three different areas of the city. Each artwork has been produced by the artist, Saype, the first on Sea Point promenade, then in Philippi Village and in Langa. The project is carried out in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, the City of Cape Town, the IPAF and Baz-Art.
Given the rich history of South Africa and its people, the message of this project is an essential one in encouraging unity and understanding. Baz-Art co-founder Alexandre Tilmans says, “Cape Town is an ideal flagship destination for this project. As a city that prioritises openness, peace and mutual respect, we need to keep having courageous conversations, especially in this harsh climate created by the pandemic. Artworks like this spark important dialogues and message of hope for all citizens.
The temporary murals were revealed to the public on the 25th of January 2021 at the Sea Point Promenade, Philippi Village and Buwga Square, Langa to spark our message of hope, humanity, and respect.”
The artist Guillaume Legros, alias Saype (a contraction of Say Peace) is a Swiss-based artist who creates monumental frescoes on the grass and on the ground. He is renowned as the pioneer of an artistic movement linking street art and land art. Saype’s approach and innovative technique earned him global recognition as his poetic and ephemeral works travel around the world to impact minds and spark conscious dialogue. He is also committed to eco-friendly methods in his art, “One of my aims is to not only shed light on issues of social transformation but to promote eco-friendly and sustainable methods of creating art through respecting nature.” He was nominated as one of Forbes’s thirty most influential people under thirty in the field of art and culture in 2019.
The Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa is proud to support the project “Beyond Walls” in Cape Town. “In these challenging times with the pandemic, we believe that art plays an essential role in expressing hope, in uniting countries and people, and in advancing human dignity, notes Nicolas Brühl, Ambassador of Switzerland in South Africa. Through the artwork of “Beyond Walls” Switzerland fully endorses the message of solidarity, dialogue and friendship conveyed to South Africa and the world by Saype.”