We are so excited about the Beyond Walls Project. Monumental frescoes by French-Swiss artist Saype have been laid out on the ground to depict unity. There couldn’t be a better time in our world for this message than now. And it’s no wonder that this unique global concept has chosen Cape Town as one of its canvasses.
The longest human chain
One of Africa’s largest and most anticipated public arts festivals, the International Public Art Festival (IPAF) has launched the Beyond Walls Project by Saype. Representing unity, mutual aid and common effort beyond geographical constraints, the Beyond Walls Project features the longest human chain in the world. This is depicted through pairs of hands painted on land, which intertwine from town to town. The project kicked off at the Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town as a precursor to the IPAF on the 25th of January 2021. The IPAF Festival runs from 10-14 February.
The monumental fresco is one of many memorable installations the street art festival will offer. 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.
Reflecting on our history
As the 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 intertwine beyond inequality in three different areas of the city. Each artwork has been produced by the artist, Saype. The first is on the Sea Point promenade, the second is in Philippi Village and the third one is 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 messages of hope for all citizens”.
The mural was unveiled to the public on the 25th of January 2021 at the Sea Point Promenade, Philippi Village and Buwga Square, Langa to spark the message of hope, humanity, and respect.
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 named 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 supports the project 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.”
Hosted by Baz-Art, the IPAF showcases our homegrown talent and other exceptional street artists from overseas. Visitors can immerse themselves in street art experiences through Covid-19 safe, intimate open-air tours, “Walk, run, cycle it,” says festival manager Lauren Fletcher. “Our focus is on family-friendly walking, cycling and running tours this year. These are a safe, exciting way to explore the city in a time when many are seeking new, novel ways to get out and about. Tours vary in length and include new and existing murals that paint a fascinating picture of Cape Town and Africa at large.
Enjoy a self-guided tour through the IPAF downloadable map, or pick up your very own map from the Baz-Art festival meeting point at 374 Albert Rd, Salt Arcade, Salt River.
Support the tourism industry
“Additionally, if you’re looking for even more insight, and want to help the tourism industry we have appealed to all tour guides in Cape Town to help with the guided tours. So if you wish to benefit from their profound professional knowledge, feel free to book their services through our website, and 100% of the proceeds will go to the tour guides.”
Tilmans, says the event will rigorously adhere to strict Covid-19 protocols to prioritise the safety of the public, participating creatives and the Baz-Art team.
“At the IPAF, masks will be mandatory, and viewings will be limited to one household per installation. Sanitiser stations will be strategically positioned to maximise availability. All government recommendations will be incorporated to keep South Africans and international guests safe. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.”