View the interactive Station/Stop Map
Once a dark and deserted area under the highway, the Gardens station is increasingly becoming the lively heart of this inner-city suburb – with everything from a children’s play area to a skateboard park.
Three artists have three very different works at Gardens, marrying the tranquil beauty of natural elements with a grittier expression of urban environment. Inside the station, intricate mosaic work by ceramic artist Lovell Friedman and a team of 20 crafters has created a sinuous sitting area that captures the Cape’s famous flora and fauna, and the sweet waters of the Camissa that once flowed down the mountain slope to the sea. It’s an indigenous garden with hidden creatures for children to discover.
The garden theme continues in the exciting work of urban muralist Freddy Sam, exploring the relationship between humans and nature. In his signature style which juxtaposes realism with more abstract elements, and plays with differences in scale, human hands, flowering plants and buck at a watering hole are combined with schematic lines representing sunrise and sunset. He loves the idea that street painting "may inspire an unsuspecting audience."
About the Artists
Wesley van Eeden's mural on the east-facing wall is as much a part of the street and the passing traffic as part of the station. The colourful, vibrant central image is of two large faces, blended with elements of nature such as birds, butterflies, weather and fynbos. Dynamic lines convey a sense of movement, which was central to the artist's intention because MyCiTi is about “mobilising people”.
Lovell Friedman obtained her master's in ceramic sculpture at the University of Cape Town. Her mosaic art is a notable feature of Cape Town's public spaces, including the Mitchells Plain hospital, and both Stadium and Gardens bus stations.
Freddy Sam, as Ricky Lee Gordon is known, was born in Johannesburg. His large-scale murals can be seen in many cities, including Istanbul, Morocco, Berlin, Basel, Barcelona and Amsterdam. He describes himself as an artist and an art activist, and says that "removing the greyness from the soul of the city is the job of artists, musicians and poets". In 2008 he started an organisation to foster young street artists.