Sea Walls: Artists For Oceans Initiative Launches In Cape Town


To celebrate World Oceans Day on Thursday 8 June, the inaugural Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans project has been announced in Cape Town.

Set for November 2023, Sea Walls: South Africa is a collaboration between SJ Artists and ocean media hub Wavescape, who have teamed up with global non-profit organization the PangeaSeed Foundation. This unique public art initiative is presented by the Save Our Seas Foundation to celebrate its 20th anniversary at the forefront of marine conservation. 

The project will commission artists to create 13 or more large-format murals around the Cape Peninsula, adding South Africa to PangeaSeed’s network of more than 500 murals in 19 countries created by more than 400 artists with the motto: A Drop of Paint Can Create an Ocean of Change


This synergy between art and activism has resulted in the term ARTivism coined by Pangeaseed founder Tre’ Packard, who will be in Cape Town for the project that sees blank walls transformed into vibrant works of art in suburbs that include Camps Bay, Sea Point, CBD, Khayelitsha, Hanover Park, Muizenberg, and Kalk Bay. The murals aim to evoke an emotional connection to ocean flora and fauna to drive public awareness on critical ocean issues. 

The following South African artists are confirmed: Marti Macfly, Dbongz, Dirty Native, Amy-Lee Tak, These 10 Fingers, Marie-Louise Koen, Sonny, Breeze Yoko, and CareOne. International artists will also be invited to participate. A festival will accompany the creation of the murals, featuring beach clean-ups with The Beach Co-op, ocean film screenings and panel discussions at Jack Black’s Tap Room.

In Kalk Bay, a special collaboration with Tracii Kwaai, founder of the Fischer Child Project, will highlight the Walk of Remembrance by showcasing poignant portraits of individuals from the area dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s, paying homage to their heritage.

Commenting on the project, CEO of the Save Our Seas Foundation James Lea says: “Striking art can connect with people in a way that science often struggles with, which is why we’re delighted to collaborate again with Sea Walls and Wavescape to present a stunning array of murals across Cape Town that highlight the majesty of our oceans. Through fostering peoples’ connection with nature, we strive to promote ocean stewards who can help advocate for the health of our oceans.”

Partnering with schools

To further engage the local community, Sea Walls had also partnered with Gardens Commercial High School for a creative collaboration with a selected artist. The students would hold workshops to develop a mural design as a way to actively participate in its creation, said Judes, who is Director of the Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival. As the founder of SJ Artists, she coordinates talented artists to create murals that raise awareness for ocean conservation. 

A series of thought-provoking podcasts hosted by Stephen Shooter from Shredding the Gnar will provide in-depth discussions with personalities, including artists, stakeholders and community members. The project is made possible by a collaboration with the South African Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. 

As Colin Whitehead of Whiteheads Painting Contractors, who will prep the walls for the murals, affirms: “The oceans of our planet sustain us, not only physically, but mentally too. Without them, we would be lost. We believe in sustainability and promoting good will. To this end, our involvement in the project allows us to provide the backdrop to the murals that will speak volumes about our oceans, and the importance of saving them.”


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