Children make waves at art expo

Qasim Zemanay with some of the art work.

There’s an old adage that says art is the height of hope – this was the sentiment when a group of people from the Peter Clarke Art Centre, formally known as the Frank Joubert Art Centre, Battswood Art Centre and the Princess Vlei Forum came together in 2012.

The group of teachers, pupils and forum members made giant dream catchers from biodegradable materials and put it up at Princess Vlei as part of a campaign to stop the planned building of a shopping mall at the vlei – this was the start of the Flight of Dreams initiative.

Since then several schools, organisations and volunteers have come on board to support the initiative and several workshops, programmes and events are held annually.

The latest event was the annual Flight of Dreams Parade, which was held on Heritage Day, September 24, where pupils from various schools made puppets and displays and walked through the streets of
Grassy Park towards the vlei.

Last month these displays were on show at the Fligh of Dreams exhibition held at the Grassy Park Library from
Friday October 14 to Thursday October 20. Participating schools include Lotus High, John G Graham Primary, Hyde Park Primary, Levana
Primary, Harmony Primary, Fairmount Secondary, Norma Road Primary, Steenberg Primary School
and the Dominican School for the Deaf.

Only John Graham Primary pupils were able to attend the exhibition but the other schools’ artworks were also on display.

The Jungle Theatre Company, eMzantsi Carnival, Cape Town Environmental Trust and the Cape Bird Club have also helped with the Flight of Dreams initiative as well as Khoi heritage groups.

Princess Vlei Forum secretary, Bridget Pitt, said the exhibition will hopefully also become an annual event.

“Through the initiative we hope to spread awareness on the importance of not only the vlei and its ecosystem but also other areas and hopefully we can save more and more areas like Princess Vlei through reservation,” she said.

Peter Clarke Art Centre principal Liesl Hartman said the centre initially got involved to use art, performance and music to highlight the plight of the vlei’s “visual life”.

“The environmental issue is very important and it’s important for art to become relevant in different disciplines and other issues, be they social or environmental because everything is connected,” said Ms Hartman.

To find out more about the Flight of Dreams initiative visit the Princess Vlei Forum website at www.
princessvlei.org