Environmental mural completed with love and care

Michaela King putting the final touches to the structure.

The artistic environmental collaboration between Muizenberg artist Claire Homewood, who goes by the name Care One Love, and the home-schooled children of Audrey’s Clubhouse in Marina da Gama is officially complete.

Claire and the children put the final touches to their mural on Thursday August 16, while teacher Audrey Spijker supervised (“Children get arty with environmental mural”, False Bay Echo, May 24).

Sharon McCallum, on behalf of the Zandvlei Trust, visited to see the final artwork.

She told the False Bay Echo that this was precisely the sort of project that engendered hope in the world at large, and thanked Claire and the children for their work, and Ms Spijker for dedicating her time to the collaboration.

The children were proud and delighted to show off their handiwork, saying it was a fun learning experience and that they couldn’t decide what they enjoyed more – learning to paint with spray cans, being outside at the vlei or feeling proud of their contribution to saving the environment.

They agreed that before using spray cans in a constructive way they had only associated them with the defacing of trains, but that now they had a new appreciation of the beauty that could be created using this medium.

After three detailed meetings with Claire to discuss what messages they wanted to send, what animals to paint and how to balance the warnings with beauty and uplifting images so the project was inspirational rather than gloomy, the children and their teacher Audrey dedicated a week’s worth of time to the actual painting.

While the weather held, they spent the time between 11am and 3pm at the vlei, breathing their ideas to life, using spray cans and paint rollers and on the final day- a final coat of sealant.

Claire said the process was a worthy one, and she was very impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the children, but more so by their follow-through and commitment.

She said the Audrey’s Clubhouse class’s activities had caught the attention of another, older group of home-schooled teens who had approached her, with ideas of their own.

“Art is really freeing and it’s so important that these children have been exposed to creating art in a new way, and in a way which allows their voices and concerns about the environment to be heard,” she said.

The Zandvlei Trust is funding Claire to uplift some of the small buildings that are scattered around the lower reaches of the Zandvlei estuary, through her art.

“She is inspired by wild nature and the importance of environmental concerns. She takes on projects that are aligned with the values she cares about – helping to grow a more resilient, integrated and healthy environment for
the people. Claire is a full-time artist, spending most of her time painting walls in public view,” said Peter Kruger, spokesperson for the Zandvlei Trust.

He said all the buildings which had been done to date had an environmental theme and were relevant to the estuary. “The
latest building is a toilet block on the western side of the estuary. In this project Claire collaborated with a class of home-schooled children to help her with the design ideas and the painting of the building. The theme of this is an anti-pollution one and it is hoped that it is noticed and the message carried out,” he said. Claire has also painted the inside of the Environmental Education building in the Zandvlei Nature Reserve.

“This work is only possible if we have the co-operation of the local councillor, Aimee Kuhl and the officials from the various
City departments where the buildings are situated and the trust thanks them for their foresight,” he said.