CONFORM adds Mural to Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Map

By staff writer: Jess Meniere

Mural for Sanlam Cape Town Marathon by artist Wayne (CONFORM). Photograph & design by Rob Wright. June 2021.

Artists, Wayne (AKA CONFORM) and SETH ONE braved Cape Town’s recent frosty cold-front while mapping a new mural on Wednesday the 21st July 2021. Between the deluge and downpour of Cape Town’s iconic winter weather, they began the installation of Woodstock’s latest addition to Chatham Street.

The sun fell quickly behind the bust of Table Mountain, replaced with thick, heavy shadows that loomed as the neighbourhood’s new backdrop, the warm glow of street lights and rising moon replaced the omniscience of nightfall. The day’s final prayer from the Sulaimania Masjied and Salt River Mosque’s sang-out, accompanied by the slapping beat of car tyres against wet-road; armed with their aerosol spray cans, CONFORM and SETH ONE added the whistle and hiss of the chorus to city’ orchestral mix. Balancing on ladders and easy-to-assemble scaffolds, they traced the mural from the projected light. Racing against the deadline of lockdown’s curfew, they worked hard and fast on the outlined black template that highlighted Cape Town’s characteristics and architecture. Over the next two days spay cans were emptied and colour by colour, the mural crept to life. 

The final piece – illustrative in style, shaded with linework and cross-hatchings and coloured in subtle earthy mountain hues – showcases a youthful and carefree sentiment of our Mother City, combining locals and landmarks to highlight the diversity, beauty, and life of Cape Town as well as its people.

The final mural by Wayne (CONFORM) for Sanlam Cape Town Marathon (with Faces Africa). Photograph by Rob Wright. June 2021.

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon runs through the streets of the CBD, extending from the promenade all the way to the Rondebosch Common; its route snakes through the city, along roads that feed its pulse and drum beat. This race is an immersive journey filled with rich colour, electric signs, fashion, scents and smells of street food and small vendor flavours; particularly when travelling through Salt River and Woodstock. Runners move through a neighbourhood decorated in street art with walls painted in a liveliness of colour and animated in patterns and designs. Street art is an expression of Cape Town’s local talent and forms an integral part of the marathon’s race entertainment, as runners tour through roads that have subsequently been turned into street-side “gallery” spaces. 

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, alongside Faces, intends to make their events uniquely African and this is just the start. The goal, to call forward the expression of African culture, diversity and community; saw Baz-Art’s commissioned masterpiece and added CONFORM’s art to the marathon’s route as of 2021. 

Baz-Art organisation strives to “transform spaces through urban art.” Motivated by their vision to “showcase the power of street art, and its ability to “transform communities,” Baz-Art focuses on artistic ecolusion. Striving to make Africa “the art place to be,” Baz-Art generates partnerships and creates business opportunities that provide structure for their artists to create freely. Baz-Art artists, equipped with spray-cans and paint-brushes, recreate and repaint environments. They add personality and improve the appearance of streets through their art, framing neighbourhoods with a sense of pride – and, CONFORM and SETH ONE from Baz-Art, have achieved just that with their latest mural for Sanlam Cape Town Marathon’s 2021 road race event.

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and Faces hope to celebrate the uniqueness of our country and the character of our people; and what better way to monumentalise this race’s route, which changes in sights, colours, sceneries, streets and communities, than by adding a mural to this marathon’s map.