Cape Town recently hosted the first ‘Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans’ event in Africa.

This initiative, presented by the PangeaSeed Foundation’s Sea Walls South Africa in collaboration with the Save Our Seas Foundation, brought together 18 mural artists, including four international talents, to transform the city’s landscape with vibrant murals that promote ocean conservation and community activism.

The art pieces, adorning the walls of 16 buildings, conveyed powerful messages on critical oceanic issues, such as plastic pollution and the urgency of community engagement in preserving ocean livelihoods.

Picture: Yoshi Yanagita / Artwork by Nardstar

The artists and the visiting Sea Walls team indulged in the Cape’s natural wonders, including a sunset view from Table Mountain and a visit to the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Centre.

Picture: Yoshi Yanagita

They also did interactive activities like tidal pool swims, surfing with the Sentinel Ocean Alliance, a beach cleanup at Muizenberg with the Beach Co-op and a foraging culinary experience with Veld and Sea.

Picture: Yoshi Yanagita

Shani Judes, the project director of Sea Walls South Africa, highlighted the programme’s dual focus: providing artists a platform for expression on marine ecosystem protection and fostering a sense of global unity.

These murals, expected to last up to seven years, serve as a reminder of our planet’s interconnectedness, the necessity of collaboration and the oceans’ pivotal role in sustaining life.

Picture: Yoshi Yanagita / Artwork by DULK

Tré Packard and Akira Biondo, the co-founders of Pangeaseed, expressed gratitude towards Cape Town’s residents for their overwhelming support and hospitality.

‘This has been a deeply profound experience. We just want to extend a huge word of thanks to the people of Cape Town. Art enthusiasts, ocean stewards and lovers of the City of Cape Town all showed great support for this initiative and their involvement has been so appreciated. Also, a massive thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this one of the most memorable Sea Walls,’ they said.

Picture: Yoshi Yanagita / Artwork by Dbongz

An impressive roster of artists, including DULK from Spain, Yeye Weller from Germany, Cracked Ink from New Zealand and Lauren YS from the US, joined forces with South African artists like Amy Lee Tak, Aweh Migo and Breeze Yoko. They used various mediums like acrylic and spray paint, employing swing stages and cherry picker cranes, to create 18 new additions to PangeaSeed’s global network of over 500 murals across 19 countries.

Picture: Yoshi Yanagita

These works spanned several Cape Peninsula locations, including Gardens, Kalk Bay, Newlands, Sea Point and Muizenberg.

Picture: Yoshi Yanagita / Artwork by Amy Lee Tak

The event also featured public engagements like a youth outreach at a local school, coastal cleanups and self-guided tours of the murals. The celebration concluded with a community event at Jack Black’s Taproom, featuring film screenings and discussions on the role of art in science communication and environmental activism.

These murals, beyond their aesthetic appeal, are educational tools promoting ocean stewardship through creative storytelling. Each piece reflects local relevance, historical legacy or community challenges, embodying the essence of ‘artivism’, a term coined by the Pangeaseed Foundation to denote the transformative power of art in effecting change.

Picture: Yoshi Yanagita / Artwork by Stefan Smit

CEO of the Save Our Seas Foundation, James Lea, said: ‘Striking art can connect with people in a way that science often struggles with, which is why we’re delighted to collaborate again with Sea Walls and Wavescape to present a stunning array of murals across Cape Town that highlight the majesty of our oceans. Through fostering people’s connection with nature, we strive to promote ocean stewards who can help advocate for the health of our oceans.’


My art uses plastic recovered from beaches around the world to understand how our consumer society is transforming the ocean

Feature image: Yoshi Yanagita / Artwork by Dbongz

Article originally written and published by Sarah du Toit for Cape Etc.