The V&A Waterfront unveiled a sign for Cape Town, created to celebrate the city’s identity, on Tuesday November 21 at the Joy From Africa to the World event at Alfred Square.
The new Cape Town sign, in letters that stand 1.65m high, signifies the city’s fingerprints in the form of “contours of the Cape” – an intricate 3D layering of the topographical shapes of eight Cape summits – Hout Bay Mountain, Hottentot’s Holland Range, Paarl Mountain, Stellenbosch Mountain, Atlantis Bobbejaanberg, Lion’s Head, Table Mountain and Cape Point Upper Funicular for each letter of Cape Town respectively.
Behind each letter, there were artworks of each landscape by artists Wayne Bks (aka Conform), Wes Leal and Adele van Heerden, and Lalela, an arts education non-profit organisation and youth collective.
The art depicts the fauna, flora, fables, and folk of the eight mountains, and the topographical sign lights up with LED lights.
Speaking at the unveiling of the sign, Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said: “As far as locations go, it doesn’t get more iconic than this. Nestled at the southern tip of the continent between the wild Atlantic Ocean and arguably the world’s most famous mountain, this bay, this harbour and this Waterfront carry with them so much history and meaning for our city.
“It is fitting then that this is the setting for our new city sign; our marker in the world where visitors can pause to reflect on their arrival in one of the world’s great cities. It offers a wonderful sense of place, and an opportunity to capture on camera an unforgettable Cape Town moment.”
David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront, said: “Tourist attractions are places of culture, heritage, nature, or activities that draw people to visit, and the Waterfront continually works hard to stay true to this with our main purpose being to allow public access for entertainment, interest, or education, all year-round. Physical visitations allow us opportunity to curate movement, to give moments to visitors to pause, and interact, and take in their surroundings, and to mark their place in Cape Town.”
The event was also to launch this year’s Joy from Africa to the World festive decor, featuring the work of more than 40 teams of local crafters, designers and artists.
Through this initiative, the Waterfront will continue to shun traditional imported tinsel and baubles and plastics for its festive decorations, which so often end up in landfill sites, choosing instead to creatively re-purpose and present fresh, original installations every year.
This year’s theme was Between the Mountain and Sea.
The Waterfront will host its traditional New Year’s Eve Party with a free programme of music performances from 3pm to midnight which will feature artists including Tarryn Lamb, Just Jinjer, Sun El, Black Ties, Mandisi Dyantis, The Rivertones, Seth Grey and The Ploemies; culminating in a firework display that will light up the sky as midnight arrives.