A monumental fresco showing human hands connecting is one of many memorable installations IPAF street art festival has to offer…

The  International Public Art Festival (IPAF) festival will run from 10-14 February, but kicked off with a sneak preview this week. Capetonians were treated to  the street art festival’s most eye-catching installations on the Sea Point promenade – the massive ‘human chain’ image by the artist know as Saype.

Who is Saype?

Guillaume Legros, alias Saype (a contraction of Say Peace) is a Swiss-based artist who creates monumental frescoes on the grass and on the ground. He is renowned as the pioneer of an artistic movement linking street art and land art. Representing unity, mutual aid and common effort beyond geographical constraints, the Beyond Walls project features the longest human chain in the world.

 

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This is depicted through pairs of local hands painted on land, which intertwine from town to town. The massive human chain image is a global initiative with different chapters around the world. Cape Town represents the ninth stage. Previously the hands were depicted in Paris, Andorre, Genève, Berlin, Ouagadougou, Yamoussoukro, Turin and Istanbul.

Saype’s hands are currently featured at the Sea Point promenade, Philippi Village and Langa and will be visible throughout the course of the festival.

Largest Human Chain in the World - Philippi Township
Largest Human Chain in the World – Philippi Township
(Image source: Valentin Flauraud for Saype)
Largest Human Chain in the World - Langa Township
Largest Human Chain in the World – Langa Township
(Image source: Valentin Flauraud for Saype)

Message from Saype

“Cape Town represents the 9th step of my worldwide artistic project “Beyond Walls”,” says the artist.

“Striving to overcome and recover from the dark time of apartheid, South Africa constitutes a crucial milestone for “Beyond Walls”. The gigantic hands, painted in three different places of the city, symbolise the reconciling will of Neslon Mandela by linking, beyond social and economic inequalities, the three districts of Sea Point, Philippi and Langa. I therefore hope that my artworks may be a modest contribution to reconcile humans at the heart of a city still healing it’s wounds.”


French-Swiss artist Saype works on one of his giant landart fresco painted for the 9th step of his worldwide “Beyond Walls” project in Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday January 17, 2021.
(Image source: Valentin Flauraud for Saype)

How to enjoy the IPAF Festival

The IPAF Festival runs from 10-14 February. Hosted by Baz-Art, it is a local street art platform that uses painted murals to create conversations and dialogues.

The IPAF showcases South African homegrown talent and other exceptional street artists from overseas.

Visitors can immerse themselves in street art experiences through Covid-19 safe, intimate open-air tours, “Walk, run, cycle it,” says Festival manager Lauren Fletcher.

“Our focus is on family-friendly walking, cycling and running tours this year. These are a safe, exciting ways to explore the city in a time when many are seeking new, novel ways to get out and about. Tours vary in length and include new and existing murals that paint a fascinating picture of Cape Town and Africa at large.

Enjoy a self-guided tour through the IPAF downloadable map, or pick up your very own map from the Baz-Art festival meeting point at 374 Albert Rd, Salt Arcade, Salt River.