4 June 2012
Last updated at 01:01
Woodstock is a rundown suburb of South Africa's thriving Cape Town - and not, perhaps, a place that people may expect to find some of the best street art around. These works, painted by artists from around the world, are transforming the neighbourhood, bringing life and colour to the streets and inspiration to the communities.
This house painting is just one of many that caused a stir in the neighbourhood when painted by Cern, an artist from New York. His works can be seen throughout the Woodstock area. Many depict animals in one form or another - but they do not all pay tribute to his cat.
The owner of this house was so inspired by the works that he saw pop up in the area around him that he asked some of the artists to paint his own property. He says he now feels so happy coming home every day - all because of the mural.
Local graffiti artist, Ricky Lee Gordon, aka Freddy Sam, picked up his spray cans to paint the walls of this house when he heard that the women who had lived here for the last 80 years was to be evicted. The words on the left hand side, "Our home our heart," have resonance for many Woodstock residents.
Six-year-old Jennifer is one of the many local children who regularly get involved in Woodstock's street art movement - in her case helping to paint the walls of the Percy Bartley House for street children.
Artists from all over the world come to Cape Town as part of the A Word of Art project, set up in 2009 by Freddy Sam. They take up residency and try to capture the essence of the community. ”We have to be sensitive to the fact that people are going to be living here and we want them to be proud,” says Indigo, from Canada.
Bart, a Woodstock local, stands in front of one of the murals he helped create. He says the murals have a special place in his heart and he is proud to have taken part in something that he can leave behind as a memory for his children.
All over Woodstock, colour flourishes against peeling walls, cracked paint and broken windows. “Colour creates energy, and I believe energy creates inspiration, and then inspiration creates the change," says Sam.
Cape Town council wants to ensure that street art is regulated, which has led to some friction with Woodstock's artistic community. But after much negotiation between the artists and the council, Searl Street Park has been designated a legal graffiti area.
The tell-tale work of artist DALeast - originally from China and now based in Cape Town - snakes its way across some of Woodstock's most neglected areas. A derelict car park or a cracked wall are brought to life with a fusion of city life and nature. Here the South African springbok leaps across two houses.
This towering woman stands on the edge of District 6, an area where up to 60,000 South Africans of all races lived side by side until the apartheid regime forcibly removed them in the 1970s. Overlooking the site where marches congregate before moving on to parliament, she has witnessed years of protest and struggling for justice.
Much of the work that exists around Cape Town started in the 1970s and 1980s as a protest against the apartheid regime. This work by local artist Mak1one reflects the struggle that took place throughout different decades.
Cape Town's reputation is growing as a place of cutting edge, pioneering street art. It is a place where things do not stand still for long - and often as soon as one artwork is created it is painted over by another. (Text and photos by Susie Goldring)