The once industrial and semi-derelict suburb of Woodstock, just outside Cape Town’s city centre, has seen a revival recently, led by the opening of new galleries and a rich collection of street art that has won the attention of the foreign press such as BBC News and France24.
Much of the street art in Woodstock is a result of collaborations between local and international artists. In 2011, for example, an artist residency programme called A Word of Art collaborated with Adidas to bring in 13 artists, both local and international, to paint large-scale public art projects throughout the city of Cape Town.
Well-known Cape Town artist Grant Jurius has helped this interest grow with his Woodstock art tour called “The Street is the Gallery”. He sees his work as partly a community upliftment project. “The tours are about giving insight into communities in our city via street art and graffiti,” Jurius explains. “Cape Flats and coloured culture are for the most part misunderstood and we look a little bit at how the art reflects and is affected by the surroundings and the laws in place, be it by the city or street values.”
Jurius believes that more cooperative projects should happen between artists and local residents to renew and beautify Cape Town’s urban spaces.