Murals bring a splash of colour to Ocean View

Ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock and artist Jean America in front of one of the murals.

Some bright murals are bringing a splash of colour to Ocean View.

Ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock is using the murals as part of his “broken window” approach to uplift the community, and the project is funded by the mayor’s urban regeneration programme.

Similar projects around the world that focussed on “fixing the small stuff” had had positive effects on communities, he said.

Mr Liell-Cock approached artist and musician Jean America for the project. Mr America is well known for his community involvement and for taking visitors and locals on walking tours around the area. He is also in a band, Oceans Riff, with fellow artist Robert Francke.

With the help of Mr Francke, Marius Waries, Shaun Hammer, Patrick Cameron and about 40 children from the community, the murals started taking shape along the walls of Ocean View’s multipurpose centre.

Mr America said they hadn’t been told what to paint, but had given it some careful thought and come up with several ideas.

Children in the community painted the “backdrop” for the larger designs.

Among other things, the murals include the galjoen, South Africa’s national fish; dolphins; and a woman watering a plant.

“This was done to encourage the community to look after their environment,” said Mr America. “I draw inspiration from things around me.”

He said he had loved drawing comics, weird creatures and animals as a child and had done courses in 2D design, sculpting, animation and traditional art at False Bay College. His life revolved around art, he said.

Once the murals are complete, he plans to include them on his walking tours.

“I want the locals to be inspired by our work and to be encouraged to do things out of the ordinary and to create beauty,” he said.

Mr Liell-Cock said he was pleased with the progress and had full confidence in Mr America and his team to create something out of the ordinary.

A portrait of one of the artist assistants, Shaun Hammer.
Artist Jean America in front of one of his creations.
This mural encourages the community to care for the environment.
Artist Marius Waries in action.