A Better Future, Together, A Morag Myerscough and Ilukuluku Art Collective Initiative

A Better Future, Together-morag-myerscough-project
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Award-winning designer and Design Indaba speaker Morag Myerscough’s recent interventions with the Ilukuluku Art Collective have brought colour and joy to the communities they touch. Myerscough demonstrates the power of adaptability and the change that can be brought about through creativity. Early in 2021, she partnered with the Ilukuluku Art Collective (an organisation that collaborates with artists, architects, and volunteers) to create a large-scale mural in Salt River as part of the 2021 International Public Art Festival (IPAF).

This year’s iteration of the annual IPAF (fifth edition), organised by Baz-Art, is now responsible for over 100 murals in the historic suburb of Salt River in Cape Town. For the festival, the artist and a team of 60 people transformed a circa 1940’s leather factory situated in Douglas Street near the Salt River Circle. With special permission from the Heritage Council, the 21-metre mural on the side of the building was completed in six days. The mural incorporates the bright, uplifting graphic designs that Myerscough is renowned for, and includes the phrase ‘ALL OF US’. “ALL OF US need to work together to make a change for ALL OF US,” explains Myerscough on the concept behind the words. This project was an extension of an ongoing collaboration between Myerscough and Ilukuluku, the first rollout saw the team transform a local school during level three lockdown. The project was born out of a meeting of minds at the Design Indaba 2018 conference when Myerscough formed part of the 2018 speaker line-up. At this event, Shaun Sebastian of Ilukuluku approached her with the idea of working on the Temple of Curiosity for the 2020 edition of Afrikaburn, an annual event held in Tankwa Karoo, South Africa, where participants create a temporary city of art, theme camps, costume, music and performance.

When the event was cancelled, Ilukuluku and Myerscough pivoted to find another way to execute the concept, and the designs were adapted for a school. Myerscough explains, “Most of my work is now community-based, and given that our intention with the Afrikaburn project was always to repurpose elements of the installation (rather than burn them) by donating them to schools and venues where they would be of use, this step change just adjusted the focus of the project.”

They identified the school with aid from Karen Stewart of Bright Sparks, an agency that works in the extramural ECD space. According to Sebastian, the school is “one of the beneficiaries of our legacy project, where we work with local communities, artists, and architects…the idea was to uplift the area and create a visual impact—we wanted to wow the children when they came back to school for the first time after lockdown.”

The team of seven, painted the entire front facade, four interior walls, and the entrance. The project was supported by a donor from the UK, as well as Dulux, who sponsored the paint, which was custom-mixed to Myerscough’s unique design palette.

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