A lot of the figures in the Voting Line art piece on the Donkin Reserve are based on real people. One of the things I like is the fact that you notice different personal or clothing features on the figures every time you visit.
As one follows Route 67 from the city centre up towards the Donkin Reserve you pass the Public Library and St Mary’s Cathedral before climbing a set of steps up to Winston Ntshona Street (previously Chapel Street). The art piece on the wall by the steps is a statement about the 76 generation (referring to the 1976 Soweto uprising) and represents the spiritual journey undertaken by those who fought against oppression. The art piece takes the form of a pile of newspapers being blown away in the wind and the pages tell the story of the youth.
It’s sad though to see that a number of the newspaper sheets have been removed from the lower section of the piece. Very disappointing to see their remembrance defiled like this.
If you started a walk along Route 67 at the Campanile then the Campanile Frieze and Wall of Texts would be one of the first art pieces you’ll see. Both of these are done by artist Mkhonto Gwazela. The frieze at the top celebrates the indigenous heritage of Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape with the sculpted visual image being cast in concrete along the curved wall. The poem just below is engraved into locally-sourced granite.
I think I’m going to take a little break from Campanile posts before people get tired of it. I have a few more but will keep it back for a week or two. Route 67 literally has 67 art pieces scattered along the way between the Donkin Reserve and Campanile. Next to the bus station at the bottom of the steps down from Market Square, you will find the Walk of Words. The pavement contains a whole host of words in different languages to represent the new South Africa and its prosperity as a democratic nation. As trying to decide which ones to photograph and this was the shot. PEACE and BLESSING.
Port Elizabeth is really fortunate to have a lot of different cultures and heritages come together here over the years and if you have history on your mind, then it’s just the place to be. In this case the Donkin Street Houses behind one of the Route 72 Voting Line figures.
On passing through Lower Valley Road today I decided to sop and have a closer look at the new mural that has been put up at the Tramways Building. The mural, in black and white, depicts scenes and items linked to the harbour, South End and Central. Included are lots of harbour cranes, trams, city scapes, the Donkin Reserve with the Great Flag and the Grey Institute, birds, a boat and even the St Peter’s Church ruins.
Standing at the top of the Donkin Reserve stands a lone woman on a pedestal holding a chair while looking across the square. She is one of the art pieces which is part of Route 67 and is the work of well known artist Anton Momberg. Do you know what she represents? Take a guess. I will come back tomorrow to place the answer as part of this post below.
Isn’t the 470 square meter mosaic on the Donkin Reserve just the most awesome piece of mosaic art in the city? The piece represents the multi-cultural, the heritages, the diverse histories and the abundant fauna and flora that characterises the city and province.
One of the Route 67 art pieces that gets the most discussion by visitors is artist Mxolisi Dolla Sapeta’s bird-like statue. The Fish-Bird looks like a UFO that has landed and visitors would be excused if they looked around for little green men running around. The Fish-Bird represents the fish in Algoa bay and the birds up on the Donkin Reserve and has returning back to the Donkin to take ownership of this transforming site.