Pharox (2011)



The event is a public sculpture designed to highlight Durban as a gateway to modern thinking and new possibilities – an attitude that can open up future possibilities to the rest of Africa, and certainly to the world. A physical and cerebral tourist attraction.

More specifically, an art installation in the shape of a lighthouse, built on top of the Moyo bar on the U-Shaka pier to coincide with COP 17. The completion of the 40m tall structure, which will be built during the conference, is planned for the final day of the global summit. The structure, which is lit at night, is intended to remain for public view for 3 months – city approval and sponsorship permitting.

20 years ago Nelson Mandela was finally released, and the peaceful process of transformation to a liberated state without the destruction of civil war became possible. It is from this that the Rainbow Nation emerged – a beacon of hope to all the other nations of our civilization.

‘Isivivani – gateway to Africa’, by award winning South African artist Christopher Swift pays tribute to the Struggle and liberation from Apartheid South Africa through the use of recycled fencing from the Robben Island max. security prison.

At the very same time, the artist creates a beacon of light, a reminder of our glorious selves to once again show the world that there is another way to combat our challenges – and it starts with a belief.

“20 years ago, it was hard for the average South African to imagine a world where one were free to choose. That choice became possible through democracy, but today, it is still hard for the average South African to imagine a world where there is opportunity to work; access to running water; good education and sanitation; affordable electricity and fuel.

We strive in a country whose motto is ‘Unity through diversity’ and we are all humans of one kind or creed. We are all interconnected and a problem for the impoverished is not just a problem for the poor, but also a problem for all South Africa’s citizens. Just as global warming is not just a problem of the Industrialised Nations. The weather is indiscriminate where it floods and where it lets starve – we are all at risk, we are all involved in globalization and therefore we all have a responsibility to finding a solution to preserving the planets environment. It is the poorest nations who are affected the worst by global food shortages, rising food and energy prices. It is not good enough to just point fingers – the changes affect all of us. If you are not part of the solution, you are, by definition, part of the problem.

The Art Installation structure rises 40m high from the water and is made from scaffolding and the original Robben Island Prison fencing. It is based on the original 7th Wonder of the Ancient world – the Lighthouse at Alexandria (240BCE) and is a fitting reminder of the economic, political, social and environmental emancipations that are achievable by the people of a great Nation coming together.” Christopher Swift