For the past year, something quite extraordinary has been taking shape in a humble-double garage of the new Care & Respite Centre in Smutsville. When it is completed, it will act as the focal piece for an exciting project which is destined to attract the attention of both locals and visitors alike.
That something is a mammoth mosaic octopus 14 metres in length and 2,4 metres high. It has been lovingly created, piece by piece, by members of Masithandane's mosaic team, alongside several volunteers from the community.
Masithandane's Mosaic Art Project was launched back in 2008 as a skills development and upliftment project as well as an initiative to attract Art Tourism to Sedgefield. Since its inception, Masithandane's talented team of mosaic artists have played a key role in the ongoing beautification of Sedgefield and their eclectic assortment of mosaic sculptures and murals can be seen throughout the small town.
In 2013, Masithandane submitted a proposal for funding to the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), who by placing emphasis on areas of need and potential, contribute to South Africa's development. The proposal was for the development of a marine-themed Mosaic Park in Sedgefield - an ambitious project that would see various sectors of the Greater Knysna community getting involved.
This project was made possible by a grant from the NLC at the end of 2015 and work for this ambitious project commenced in January 2016. It will be called the “The octopus garden under the sea” (reference to the old Beatles classic) and will be built on a portion of private land next to the Scarab Market. Under the guidance of passionate Project Manager Petricia Pieterse, various mosaic sculptures have been created alongside the giant octopus, including a 3D dolphin and a whale water- feature.
Local children from the Smutsville community were involved in a “Street Art Project”, where each child was given paving stones on which to create a marine inspired artwork. These paving stones will be used to build a walkway within the park. In addition to this, forty children from the Karatara community further up north, were tasked to create 4 mosaic dustbin holders, two of which will remain in the community and two will be part of the park.
The grand opening for the park has been scheduled for 1 April 2017. There is much that still needs to be done and Masintandane is appealing to members of the community to spare a little time to help with the completion of the octopus.
They will be holding an Octopus Tea Party on 27 January from 9:30 12:30 and a Pebble Party on the 10 February, where they invite anyone to join and be part of this creative venture. (Refreshments will be served.) They are also appealing to local artists to consider placing sculptural pieces in the park to showcase and thereby sell their work.
For more info contact Petricia: 076 324 8960