What we do | BAZ-ART Projects & Murals | Lighthouse

The Lighthouse naturally provokes a number of feelings. It is associated with hope and romance and at the same time lighthouses stand lonely and dominate the landscape.

It is a combination of brightness and loneliness that our modern life is full of and the hope for safety and warmness that we as humans, are longing for.

The story of the new CBD Lighthouse began a few months ago.

Cape Town is known as a City of Storms, surrounded by strong ocean currents. Lighthouse is known as a universal symbol of guidance at the storming sea and this is where the idea meets the ground. 

“When I first looked at the wall, that has to be painted I was a bit scared of its size, but more over its shape. It was tall and very narrow, which limited us, the artists with the ideas… At the same time, it gave us the right direction from the beginning. The more I looked at the long piece of concrete the more I had a feeling of having a significant symbol on it. 

And suddenly I saw a glimpse of lighthouse!” – says Tatiana Hurn, a Ukrainian born artist living in South Africa.

Her involvement in uplifting the environment through public art in Cape Town began in 2018 when she took part in the International Public Art Festival organized by BAZ-ART, a non-profit organization.

This year, when Festival organizers were looking for an expert on the large scale murals, she suggested to bring a professional artist from Ukraine Alexander Nikituyk who has many years of experience of public art on the high buildings in Ukraine.

“Once we agreed on the artist for that scale we started to develop the concept and creating a sketch of Lighthouse.”  - says Tatiana.

The concept was to paint a Khersoness Lighthouse from the Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea which was annexed by Russia in 2014. 

The Crimea has a complicated political and social situation for the last few years. Some of local people had to leave their homes and settled a new life elsewhere in Ukraine

“By coincidence, the person who actually designed a digital sketch of Crimean lighthouse for us was one of those Crimean refugees, Alex Marchenko. He joined our creative team and was feeling very proud of his visual contribution to the project” – says Tatiana.  

“We created a surrealistic sky which looks like lighthouse is inside the box. This optical effect was made for a purpose to symbolize lighthouse as a Gift from Ukraine to South Africa. The gift that is up to public to take it out of the box. 

The hand that holds the rock and lighthouse on top symbolizes the combination of nature and culture that is always connect us as humans. 

A sign of support, guidance and unity.” – explains Alexander.

“We also wanted to add some softness and feminine touch into that strong and powerful message to show the beautiful harmony between masculine and feminine energies. The ornamental flowers that twine around the strict-shaped tower was the perfect idea. I painted them in the beautiful Ukrainian folk-art style Petrykivka.” – added Tatiana.

With the great support of Ukrainian Embassy and Ukrainian Association of South Africa, Alexander Nikituyk visited South Africa for 2 weeks in June to complete the mural. It took a few months of preparation for the project to become a reality.

3 artists on the height, 9 days of hard painting job, 14th platforms of scaffolding, which they had to constantly run up and down, carrying buckets of paint and other materials. 

This became an incredibly massive and fast colorful transformation in the city. A new landmark on the busiest Strand street has been created!

When the first lines were done and one could clearly see the shape of lighthouse through the scaffolding, it was noticed that everyone had its own interpretation. 

This art piece speaks to people in their own language.

 Once the gift is taken out of the box, people find their own interpretation.” – added Tatiana. – “It just shows us that we all have different perception of the world and symbolism behind the image. This is such a great phenomenon!”

After the project`s been done, Alexander had a few days to explore the beauty and variety of South Africa`s nature and art, was introduced to different cultures and local communities.

 “South Africa is a paradise for artists and for all! It is the most impressive place I even been! It was my dream from the childhood to come and visit this “Treasure on Earth”, I have read plenty adventurous books about this mysterious part of the world - South Africa.

This trip for me is a great example of giving and receiving balance. Like famous Ukrainian poetess Lina Kostenko once said: “Give a little piece of yourself to the people, and your soul will be filled with the light forever.”

I shared my knowledge and skills through facing many challenges, hard physical work and time limit. Now, after it is finished I am feeling so privileged and honored to be able to paint for public here in South Africa. In reward I received far more than I imagined before. It has been only 2 weeks in the country but for me it seems like I have fully lived the whole life. This is how intensive and saturated my days are in South Africa. 

I am so inspired that I want to create a collection of drawings of my South African experience and put it up for presentations and exhibitions in Ukraine.” - says Alexander.

We all so grateful to all our partners, Ukrainian and South African, hoping for a future cooperation with BAZ-ART, Ukrainian Embassy and Ukrainian Association of South Africa.

A special gratitude to the building owner for the big trust and huge support, for the CBD –City letting the first and unique landmark to shine on in the city center.

Client: Boxwood Properties and the Government of Ukraine

Agency: In house

Location: Strand Street, Cape Town

Daily foot and vehicle traffic: 200 000 + traditional and online press + social media impressions

Surface: 160 sqm

Duration: indefinite

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