R1 million public art competition launched


Where the public art installation will be constructed

Where the public art installation will be constructed

In celebration of Cape Town being the World Design Capital for 2014, the Western Cape Government has launched a competition for a permanent installation of artwork.  The theme for the competition is “20 years of Freedom and Democracy”, incorporating the “Live Design, Transform Life” mantra of the 2014 World Design Capital.

By creating such a competition, the city hopes to gain a piece of art that will encompass the World Design Capital vision for many years to come.  According to the brief, submissions should reflect Cape Town’s extraordinary diversity, community, and history in a forward-looking vision. We hope the selected piece will become a Capetonian landmark for tourists and locals alike.

The selected piece will remain a permanent, site-specific installation artwork outside the Western Cape Government buildings on the corner of Dorp and Long Streets.  The installation must be durable as well as theft-proof, as it is intended to remain for a minimum of 30 years.

Timeline of the competition: 

7 August 2014: Call for entries

15 October 2014: Submission deadline

14 November 2014: Announcement of selected work

15 April 2015: Completion and installation of final piece

27 April 2015: Official unveiling to the public

Successful submissions will be measured for degrees of public engagement, innovation, integration, social understanding, longevity, expression and impact. The brief notes that the selected piece will demonstrate innovation, spirit of the city, as well as be aesthetically pleasing. It optimally will include education and skills development as part of the design process.  Therefore, not only should the piece be aesthetically pleasing but should also aim to meaningfully contribute to the city’s sustainable development initiative.

Up to one million rand will be allocated for the selected piece to be built. This includes a construction budget of up to 900,000 rand (including all materials, labour, equipment, rentals, transportation, and restorations to the area) as well as a 100,000 rand honourarium for the winning artist or team.

The judging panel will consider creativity and construction feasibility given the budget. The panel will also select proposed installations that are appropriate in scale, that are sustainable and durable over a long period of time, and that simultaneously encompass the goals of such a visionary piece as well as feasibility considerations.  The panel will short-list a series of designs from the initial review, comprised of five to ten candidates. These short-listed submissions will be made available for public viewing at 7 Wale Street, and will be open to public commentary. An online voting poll may potentially be used.

Selected artists will be asked to briefly present to the panel a more descriptive picture of the installation and how it will be constructed. The winning design will be announced to the public on Friday 14 November 2014.

The selected piece will be constructed on top of this marble slab.

The selected piece will be constructed on top of this marble slab.

All proposed pieces must:

  • Fit the pre-existing space dimensions of 9,639 mm x 6,015 mm. The piece must remain within the dimensions of the constructed concrete, while taking spatial specifics of the site into consideration. It cannot block windows or doors, nor obstruct the current flow of pedestrian traffic. Furthermore, the installation will be located opposite an important mosque to the area, therefore it must be appropriate and not construct the heavy amount of pedestrian traffic that frequently crowds the street on Friday afternoons.
  • Be logical given the heavy amount of foot traffic that passes by the plaza at all hours of the day and night.
  • Be aesthetically pleasing and visionary
  • Be durable, theft and vandal-proof, and have low maintenance costs.

For a more comprehensive description of the admission criteria and considerations, click here. We can’t wait to see the short-listed candidates come November! Cape Town, what will you create?

A futher photo of the installation space

A further photo of the installation space