Sunday, 16 June 2019

No 86 - Grahamstown's street art

Grahamstown – Makhanda – advertises itself as the “Creative City” – and no one who attends Acoustic Cafe, or Reddits poetry, or the craft fairs, will deny that our little town is crammed with extraordinary talent: musicians, poets, painters, ceramicists, quilters... Wonderful stuff.

What might be ‘seen’ but overlooked is some of its street art. There’s not a lot of it, perhaps, and it varies from the mediocre and opportunistic to the really rather good. Some of it is merely decorative, some partakes of the historically subversive nature of Banksy-like “tagging”, propounding political and economic views normally suppressed or ignored by the ‘establishments’. Other examples carry much-needed positive messages – the need and desire for education, for example.

At any rate, here are just some samples from around town. Mostly, the artists are unknown: if anyone knows who they are, and they’d like their names to be included here, do let me know – and let me know of other artistic examples. Maybe someone can organise a competition in suitable spaces: I think of those huge blank wall-panels behind Shoprite, for example...

Electrical substations attract artists' attentions, as in the first couple, from the Somerset St-Beaufort St junction...



On the Hillsview/Lawrance St substation


John Kit next to his self-portrait, outside his gallery in Market St: pop in for antiques, paintings, or B&B


Real and imagined faces at the Bathurst St taxi rank, which provides many delightful details.



A possibly inadvertent, but satisfying abstract.



From the four-way junction near Kingswood, presumably executed by Kingswooders?

Decorative details on the Ditch bridge on Somerset St.


Several paintings, more political, on the Somerset St/African St substation.



Detail of a frieze on 'bus shelter' on Somerset St. (Do we have buses?)

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