An artist going by the name r1 created a beautiful artwork on the edge of Joburg's city centre, but it is more than just art.
Although it captures the attention of South Africans an tourists, iThemba Tower is much more than just art, it is a beacon of hope.
The tower consists of 7000 plastic bottles, which colours the scenery during the day but lights up at night with the help of LED lights.
"Every city has a beauty and I believe there's something special about the streets of Johannesburg. Every night informal waste collectors clean the streets and so we never really fully see how much litter fills our gutters", r1 said.
The tower is a permanent art installation which saw a diverse group of people coming together to create the it- local schools participated as well as a small group of waste collectors and the community, who collected and filled the bottles.
The bottles were fitted with LED lights and then wrapped around a communication tower. However, before a bottle was used, locals would write a message of hope on it.
The name of the tower iThemba means 'hope' in Zulu. Thus, the tower made of trash became a beacon of hope.
r1 has a degree in Fine Art, but he does not want his work ti hang on the walls of galleries, so he uses road signs and discarded materials to create artworks seen by everyone.
“It’s about bringing a community together,” he says. “I think that’s all you can hope for.”
Take a look at a video about the tower below:
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