Public art to brighten the capital

07 April 2021 | Art and Entertainment

Windhoek • [email protected]

The ENK Institute of public art’s application to install and exhibit public art at municipal public spaces has been approved.
The institute aims to create awareness about public art, especially how art serves as a unique role player in preserving and recreating Namibia’s heritage and identity.
According to council documents, arts and culture have a central role to play in cities, in tackling the issues of local economic development, community cohesion and community participation in everyday life. “It is the role of the council to create a supportive environment for arts and cultural entrepreneurship to grow,” council documents read.
Two projects were proposed to use municipal owned public spaces to install and exhibit artworks. The Flags of Contribution campaign aims to honour countries that have contributed to Namibia’s Independence and Windhoek’s growth by hoisting the flags of 19 countries. The Snyman Circle at Ausspannplatz will be used for this purpose. The campaign also includes the installation of one or two permanent benches, a steel or marble information structure that describes the campaign, and the use of municipal electricity for 3 or 4 ground lights.
“It is recommended that the councillors heritage committee determine which countries’ flags be hoisted prior to implementation, where after it be submitted to council for approval,” the document reads.
The second initiative, the Upstream Colour Campaign, aims to honour artists and subsequently refresh the Independence mural in Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue, which dates back to 1990. In the first year, they want to develop a clean and friendly space by creating an artificial garden in front of the mural, with ground lights or lights suspended from the wall using municipal electricity, as well as the installation of two permanent benches.
“Learners who created the Independence mural will be identified to pay tribute to their stories,” the document reads. Visual artists will be commissioned to paint the road embankments next to and opposite the wall. A permanent board with campaign information will also be installed.
New visual artists will be commissioned in the second year of the project to repaint the mural. Another group of visual artists will be tasked to create a paint pattern on the road embankments next to and opposite the wall.
Although the Independence Mural is on private property, the owners have already been consulted. The land in front of the mural is municipal property. The artwork for the road embankments will be submitted to council for approval before implementation.