In celebration of Heritage Month, the City of Cape Town has launched a map and an interactive link on the MyCiTi website with information about the artwork at the MyCiTi stations.
Visitors to the Adderley Street and Civic Centre stations can now find other stations with artwork, and also read about the art and artists online.
More than 50 artworks, including mosaic works, sculptures, ceramics, mural paintings, drawings, sandblasted images and spray-painted street art or graffiti, have been installed at MyCiTi stations across the city since May 2010.
“Thousands of MyCiTi commuters and visitors to Cape Town pass through these stations every month. Yet I am convinced that very few are acquainted with the purpose and theme of the art at the stations, the artists who created it, the inspiration for the art, and what it is trying to communicate to those who engage with it,” said Mayco member for transport, Brett Herron.
“We therefore came up with the idea some 14 months ago to create a location map of the artwork along the MyCiTi routes and an interactive link on the MyCiTi website with information about the art and the artists. It took a lot of planning and creativity to get it all together, and we are extremely excited about the end-product which has been finished in time for Heritage Month.”
Those interested in learning more about the artwork at the MyCiTi stations can go to www.myciti.org.za/en/myciti-art.
Some of the information featured includes a route map indicating the MyCiTi stations where the artwork is located; photos of the artwork; information about the themes and purpose of the art; information about the artists; videos of the artists talking about their work and what they want to communicate to the onlooker and a live introduction to the art by curator Roger van Wyk The MyCiTi art project derives from similar art projects along metropolitan subway systems around the world such as in New York, London and Moscow, and the public transport system in Sao Paulo.
“The purpose of art in transport is to connect the commuters to the physical location, to rouse their interest in the surroundings, and to enhance their experience of commuting itself by adding a bit of theatre to the occasion. “The art portrays the cultural heritage of Cape Town and gives commuters a sense of the history of the neighbourhoods they are travelling through and the culture and roots of those living there,” said Mr Herron.
Artist Julia Anastasopoulos, who is known for her web series, Suzelle DIY designed the illustrations at the Civic Centre station The themes of the artwork range from environmental issues to youth and identity, to urbanisation, migration, movement, and even humour.
“Very few people have access to art galleries. At the MyCiTi stations we incorporate art into the everyday lives of ordinary people as they travel to work or school. The artwork is something to look at and to think about. It is functional and fun. It tells us more about Cape Town, our history and of who we are. “I encourage our residents to visit the link and to hop onto a MyCiTi bus to view the artworks across the city, or to pay closer attention next time they pass through a MyCiTi station,’ said Mr Herron.