Art group gives eyesore a mural make-over

This mural in front of the Dawood building in Simon’s Town was painted by members of the Simon’s Town Art Group. The stylised view of mountains seen across the bay from Simon’s Town was inspired by well-known South African artist Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef

A Simon’s Town art group has marked its 25th anniversary by painting a mural across hoarding in front of a dilapidated building in the town.

The Simon’s Town Art Group (Stag) placed the 10m x 1.2m mural in front of the Dawood building on Thursday February 23.

“When we heard the Books on the Bay literary festival was coming to Simon’s Town, we wanted to participate and were hoping to collaborate with the festival as it was also Stag’s 25th anniversary,” said Sally Kruger, a member of the group.

“We contacted the Simon’s Town Civic Association and suggested that we would do the mural to hide the shabby shade cloth covering the Dawood building and help beautify St George’s Street for the literary festival that took place on Friday March 10 and Saturday March 11.”

Simon Metcalf, the civic association’s chairman, said the building had been an eyesore for a while and the association had been happy to support the initiative by sponsoring some of the materials.

The Stag members worked on the mural in the Simon’s Town library.

“It took 10 members a week and a half to complete the mural, which is made up of four wooden boards that have been joined together, and four strong men transported it down in two pieces,” Ms Kruger said.

The stylised view of mountains seen across the bay from Simon’s Town was inspired by well-known South African artist Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef.

“The mural project was an unplanned part of our 25th-anniversary celebrations, next is our first annual exhibition since Covid, which opens in the Simon’s Town library hall on Saturday March 25,” Ms Kruger said.

Stag was founded in 1998, and its first meetings and early exhibitions took place in the now historic Albertyn Stables.

Over the past 25 years, the group, which meets on the third Thursday of every month, has organised several workshops and outings. It currently has 45 members and is open to anyone living in the south peninsula.

The owner of the heritage-protected building, Peter Michaletos, told the Echo that restoration work had been delayed by Covid-19 and that the heritage approval had expired in 2022.

A reapplication had been submitted and approval obtained towards the end of last year.

Mr Michaletos added that as a result of a large sewage pipeline under the building, stormwater had washed away the foundation, resulting in the collapse of the building on the left.

He said he would receive a report from his engineers in the coming months, and as soon as the building had been repaired, tenants would be considered.