Diepsloot Public Art

2011 – 2012

Sticky collaborated with The Trinity Session, Diepsloot Arts & Culture Network [DACN]
and Library Special Projects, to conceptualise and build a
Diepsloot Public Art piece (commissioned by the Johannesburg Development Agency/
City of Johannesburg) out front of Muzomuhle Primary School in extension 2.
Over 2 years, a team of talented people created an art piece that told a
a story which reflected the feelings of how young people felt about
their home of Diepsloot, manifesting in a street carnival and built works –
employing over 100 Diepsloot artists & artisans in the process.

This project won the 2013 BASA award for Increasing Access to the Arts.

From Monday to Wednesday, you make me love you like a butterfly, that comes out of it’s cocoon.
I can only have a good time then, like a cat drinking its milk, like a rabbit eating its carrots.
When its Thursday, my feelings change about you.
You turn into a pack of angry dogs.
You make me angry like a chicken whose chicks have been taken away.
When its Thursday Diepsloot, you act like a bunch of baboons.
You forget I need to hunt like an owl, searching for knowledge, working at night.
When its Thursday Diepsloot, you let my prey escape me.

2011: The conceptualising of the story-line, a love letter to Diepsloot, was written during a workshop by a small team of learners lead by experienced artist Thandiwe Ngapele:

Dear Diepsloot,
Here are my feelings about you / you make me love you when it’s Monday – Wednesday, but when it’s Thursday my feelings change about you….
I can only have a good time when I go to school and study at night, but I can only study on Mondays to Wednesday.
Why you make me angry on Thursdays & Fridays.
Diepsloot, you party too much and forget that I have to study, you play a lot of noise and a lot of music….
I can’t concentrate, so you see, my love for you is only conditional.

The love letter was workshoped into a poem, relating these feelings to animal characters, which lead to a street carnival written, produced and performed by Diepsloot artists: loads more images here of the carnival. The fence at the future built works site (also the entrance of Muzomuhle Primary School) was painted by a local team, and became the backdrop for the final act of the street carnival.

2012 saw the models produced from the poem turned into life sized sculptures. There was a lot of experimentation with materiality and manufacture. Muzomuhle Primary School learners helped produce some cool ideas around recycling materials, Skilled artists Mavis & Bethuel (both based at the Bus Factory) spent some time with selected Diepsloot artists working on recycling methods for dressing elements of the sculptures, including coke can recycling the butterfly wings, plastic bottle tops for the dog skins & owls tail, plastic bag weaving for the rabbit and chicken skins.
Steel artisans tested manufacturing & fixing ideas, but unfortunately there was no one skilled enough to do deep engineering style welds, so instead some of the Diepsloot crew spent time at the factory, manufactured a lot of the smaller elements, then assisted with on site erection.

2012: There was only enough in the Public Art budget to paint the fence in the area imeediately behind the Public Art installations, but we felt that the rest of the school should have the same amount of colour. Thanks to a donor, the fence was painted by artists and painters all the way around the corner to the entrance from the government district: http://stickysituations.org/2012/11/13/muzomuhle-fence-painting/

prequel 2009: The original I LOVE DIEPSLOOT concept emerged in a Global Studio program, with a group of students and residents ‘put off’ by an extremely negative article about Diepsloot published in the New York Times, sensationalising the crime of the area – but we all see Diepsloot as place that is people’s homes, lives, schools, work, friends, and a place of life and celebration. The group produced an I LOVE DIEPSLOOT t-shirt in response


  • JDA commissioned Trinity to produce artworks
  • TRINITY http://www.onair.co.za/broadcast/?p=561#more-561
  • STICKY SITUATIONS – Jennifer van den Bussche, Genevieve Blanchette, Caroline Comino (costumes phase 1), Phoebe Goodwin (manufacture & launch phase 2)
  • Diepsloot Arts & Culture Network [DACN] Papi Sathekge, Lucky Nkali, Dan Mauane, Bernard Mulauzi
  • THE LIBRARY a very special and talented team headed by Stewart Barstow
  • ARTISTS participating Diepsloot artists are listed on these downloadable programs 2011 2012


  • http://stickysituations.org/2012/11/19/diepsloot-public-arts-launch/
  • http://www.jda.org.za/latest-news/1447-the-jda-a-winning-organisation
  • http://www.jda.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1447:the-jda-a-winning-organisation&catid=123&Itemid=346
  • http://www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6846:carnival-parades-through-diepsloot&catid=164&Itemid=245
  • http://www.urbanlandmark.org.za/downloads/diepsloot_brochure.pdf
  • http://blog.inpolis.com/2012/11/30/under-african-skies-day-4-diepsloot/
  • http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2013/09/18/diepsloot-s-colour-and-dust
  • http://www.theaustralian.com.au/travel/stronger-community-built-from-cast-offs/story-e6frg8rf-1226473678630?nk=149dfd216ccabdb2ec706a7faeda1333