The Mother City’s newest addition: The SunStar beacon of hope

by Karisa

So you might have spotted this new art installation on top of Signal Hill already.  I’ve heard reports that it can even be seen heading into town from Blouberg (haven’t tested that one myself though), but it certainly is a standout piece…

The SunStar is the creation of Cape Town artist and founder of the Robben Island Art Company & Trust (RIACT), Christopher Swift.  This 24 metre high sun shaped sculpture has been designed as a reminder of our country’s past and a symbol of hope for our future, particularly as we celebrate 20 years of democracy this year.

The SunStar construction has been sponsored by Sun International and the initiative is also a showcase project for the Cape Town 2014 World Design Capital.

A temporary art installation only, it will stand on top of Cape Town’s famous Signal Hill for a few months as I understand.  Signal Hill was selected not only for its uninterrupted views of Robben Island, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak and the city, but also because it’s easily accessible to all visitors.

The center piece of the installation was created using parts of the original fence that once surrounded Robben Island, while the rest of the structure consists of an eight-point star shaped metal frame.  But Swift’s design also took the environment and sustainability into account.  The sculpture features a solar powered light system made up of low-power LED strip-lighting and flood light support which will light up the sculpture at night.

To protect the integrity of Signal Hill, the SunStar was also installed using an innovative ground anchorage system instead of  conventional concrete bases.  This technique allows the soil at the base to remain unsealed and also means that the structure can easily be removed again after their permit period expires.

I joined a bunch of other folks for the official unveiling this past Wednesday eve.  These are some of the shots I took:

Was soooooo hard not to push that big red button… 😉

Pretty impressive up close…

And quite striking all lit up…

And then these are some of their pro shots:

A behind-the-scenes look at the construction…

The artist – Christopher Swift

A really awesome aerial view…

I must say, I really like it…  If you’re in the area, do go & check it out for yourself.




Anneline van Der Westhuizen Dec 16, 2014 - 8:24 am

Very informative – love to follow your posts

Karisa Dec 16, 2014 - 8:30 am

Thanks so much 🙂


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