Youth from Vrygrond, Capricorn and Overcome Heights, along with students from the San Francisco State University, have the past three weeks helped to create an impressive artistic structure on the M5 and Capricorn Boulevard. Photo: Brendan Magaar / African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Youth from Vrygrond, Capricorn and Overcome Heights have over the past three weeks helped to create a huge piece of art, which is on display on the M5 and Capricorn Boulevard.

The Ship of Ubuntu sculpture created with renowned Mexican street artist Libre Gutierrez, symbolises the beauty, talents, history and future of the Vrygrond community.

More than 40 community member volunteers spent long days and nights constructing the enormous wooden sculpture.

The Vrygrond counter narrative project was a collaboration between non-profit organisation Sozo Foundation, who works with the Vrygrond community, the Vrygrond Community Development Forum and sponsored by The EDvance programme from San Francisco State University in the US.

Sozo Foundation facilitators Randall Daniels and Keenan Mowers supported the youth in developing the practical skills.

“The youth enthusiastically took leadership and ownership of the project. They worked closely with Libre demonstrating their passion, talents and commitment to serving and improving their community,” said Daniels.

With the face of a man with two eyes, the piece symbolises looking toward the future and reflecting on the past, with the hull of a boat paying homage to the fishermen’s village history of the community.

The houses on top of the structure symbolise the unity and diversity of the community.

Last year Dr Lygia Stebbing from EDvance and her student team partnered with Mowers and Gutierrez for a 10-day mural programme in front of Vrygrond’s taxi rank.

Stebbings said: “Due to the success of the previous project Libre, the Sozo foundation and EDvance organised a sculpture project to complete with the youth from the community over the winter with the hope of bringing together the youth, to provide a space to develop a sense of community through collaboration, teamwork and creating a shared vision.

“Libre’s work focuses on under-serviced communities designing community-based art projects that allow youth of the community to participate in hands-on engaging workshops to design public art.”