Promotion & Development An Arts Precinct in Diepsloot, South Africa

Client: The Diepsloot Arts & Culture Network

Designers: Shaun Wilson, Zoe Appel, Mirika Guffin, William Challis, Paula Hardie

 


INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW

Our proposal for the promotion and development of the Diepsloot Arts Precinct is made up of two projects. They have the ability to stand on their own, but work best when initiated together. The first element consists of an art exhibition in the streets of Diepsloot, which will become part of a semi-permanent arts trail with the Arts Precinct at its centre, bringing locals to the Arts Precinct and the Arts Precinct to the world. The artwork produced will be showcased to locals and visitors and will feature in a seasonal festival incorporating local musicians, theatre, film, and street markets. The second element is a re-design and rejuvenation of the existing DACN website, to serve as a window into the arts and culture which thrives in Diepsloot. The website will be a platform for promoting the DACN and showcase the network of creative and independent artists it supports. 

DIEPSLOOT STREET-ART FESTIVAL

We envision an ongoing exhibition held over a weekend on four occasions throughout the year, marking the change of seasons. It would be held through the streets of Diepsloot, focusing on local street artists and musician performances. The selection of spaces for the exhibition would consist of sides of houses/blank walls/areas that can serve as ‘canvases’ for artists which will be sourced through word of mouth, flyers, posters, and the facebook page/website. In exchange for the use of the said space, residents could receive a meal at the cafe.

Paid guided tours of the exhibition for visitors to Diepsloot will be held as an activity and will begin and end at the Arts Precinct. They would preferably be conducted by women, to encourage them to be involved in the arts in a safe environment, while strengthening public awareness of Diepsloot’s initiatives. Other artwork from the artists of the fixed exhibits will be available for commissioned sale at the Precinct. The theme of the exhibition will be focussed on a local Diepsloot issue, and the art trail will cover an area within walking distance of the Precinct. Future iterations of the exhibition will see a constant change of theme, adding to the art trail or replace existing works. The artworks will become part of the public space and open to the public, however ongoing paid guided tours organized through the DACN can be conducted outside the festival for visitors.

The purpose of bringing art more prominently to the streets is multifaceted. The act of doing so will instigate conditions of safety on the festival day and beyond, with the attraction of people to previously avoided areas. It will represent an image of Diepsloot to visitors as created by residents (as opposed to one imposed by the media), and in turn may help change Diepsloot residents’ view of themselves. Also it will strengthen an economy around the arts within Diepsloot, and bring in visitors from outside. “With very little economic opportunity, theatre, dance, visual arts and music are emerging as paramount communication mechanisms, developing key connections both internally between the youth and various fragmented communities making up the population of Diepsloot, and externally in response to the isolation of the township from the wider Johannesburg population.” (Joburg.org.za 2015) The DACN stands as a support network for artists and musicians and Diepsloot as a whole. For the festival and beyond, artwork and music the artists wish to sell can be done so through the DACN’s gallery and the proposed website (see diagram for relations between actors in the DACN economic network).

Artists for the exhibition are not limited to established artists. We would like to encourage select demographics such as a female residents, teenagers and Diepsloot children/primary school groups in particular to pick up a paintbrush (or spray-can) and participate in the exhibition. By focusing on niche groups the DACN would be able to show that they cater to and support all of Diepsloots’ people. A small installation event up to a week prior to the festival will give the artists time to create their work while generating interest in the lead up to the event.

Possible sponsorship of the event has been considered in regards to supplies, resources, and advertising. Australian spray-paint company Ironlak has been contacted regarding this, and a sponsorship proposal application has been acquired for further consideration and pursuit.

 


Diagram of how the DACN could function a mediator of an economy generating by 'interesting things' and arts.

 Integration of Ironlak into the Diepsloot project holds potential and benefits for both Diepsloot and the company themselves. Due to the nature of Ironlak being an internationally recognised brand, it holds the potential to bring an international awareness of Diepsloots’ vibrant art culture, specifically street art. Other sponsorship for the provision of paint and supplies include Montanna Cans, who currently sponsor Johannesburg’s City of Gold street art festival. The process of how this might occur is below:

DIEPSLOOT WEBSITE

 Integration of Ironlak into the Diepsloot project holds potential and benefits for both Diepsloot and the company themselves. Due to the nature of Ironlak being an internationally recognised brand, it holds the potential to bring an international awareness of Diepsloots’ vibrant art culture, specifically street art. Other sponsorship for the provision of paint and supplies include Montanna Cans, who currently sponsor Johannesburg’s City of Gold street art festival. The process of how this might occur is below:

Suggested website map

The navigation menu of the site will guide users to information about the purpose of the DACN and the impact they have had as an organisation supporting the people of Diepsloot. The user will find a ‘Profiles’ page, designated to showcasing individual talent, be that music, art, dance, theatre or craft; Information about upcoming events which the DACN is either hosting or participating in; A contacts page providing all the tools necessary for reaching out to the DACN and its support staff (a map, links section for contacting the DACN partners and information about the Arts Precinct); and an online store for the sale of purchasable content (this would be music downloads and an art store), where payment methods could be made through PayPal or by Debit card.

The website would be designed in conjunction with Liveworm Studio, a Queensland College of Art   work-experience graphic design studio for students. A final brief would need to be supplied by DACN to determine the direction of the design and website elements - a suggested outcome has been supplied below based on our research. 

We have thought about the possibility of launching the website and the first iteration of the street art festival together. It would set in motion a holistic dissemination plan for greater South Africa and the world to take notice of Diepsloot, with its image

represented by the DACN and residents. The website would be the go-to place for all information regarding the festival and the events and particulars of the festival would fill the content of the web-pages. The web being a global platform allows for cross-promotion and networking for all things DACN.