Mural heralds new beginning for Umcebo

THE Bulwer neighbourhood has an extra touch of colour to it since Umcebo Design moved into its new premises at Brents Avenue and in celebration painted a striking mural on the wall along the road.

Mike McFadyean, artist and designer, has contributed his graphic design and art skills to Umcebo for their branding and general design requirements over a number of years so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Mike to re-brand Umcebo with a new logo and look.

Robin Opperman, creative director of Umcebo Design, thought that it would be a great idea to herald the arrival of Umcebo Design in Brents Avenue by inviting Mike to come up with a mural design for the massive wall at the end of the street. Mike, always up for a street art opportunity, enthusiastically dived in and started designing.

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Residents in Brents Avenue were asked for permission since Mike felt that it was important that a huge mural bring value to the street. Everyone was on board and so the mural went ahead. Mike took about 16 hours over five days to paint the mural from scratch. Everything was painted by hand, no spray cans were used.

“When I saw the wall and the lonely little tree in front of it, I instantly knew what design direction I wanted to take. For me, the tree design is not only a celebration of Umcebo’s arrival in Brents Avenue, but also a graphic representation of how small ideas can grow huge with the right nurturing. I felt that a graphic tree done in a faux stained-glass technique would read well from a distance as people turn into Brents, but also be something that residents can live with for a while and feel that it brings value and interest to the street,” he said.

Mike has now taken on the wall of number 12 Brents Avenue next, to signal where Umcebo Design has moved to.

The mural, named “The Lucky Bean Tree”, is the first of what Robin hopes to be the rolling out of a year-long project where he hopes to collaborate with muralists and street artists in bringing more art to the streets of Glenwood, Musgrave and Berea.

So, along with other artists, Mike’s work will be popping up in other places on the Berea over 2018 – look out for his signature tag “MKM”.

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“The mural represents our goals for 2018 and beyond, which are to make high quality, original and creative work, to create and open up artistic opportunities for as many people as possible, to showcase murals which the community are happy with and which improve public spaces and make neighbourhoods better places to live, and to include as many people as possible in the art dialogue and process and to form as many creative and mutually beneficial partnerships, projects and collaborations as possible,” said Robin.

He said Umcebo was hoping to partner with people from the Valley of 1000 Hills in a sewing project and was aiming to teach artists how to monetise their creativity.

“With the mural project, we hope to give people the chance to do something different. There is a difference between graffiti and murals which are attractive and upgrade the community. Anyone can be creative, and we hope to encourage this,” said Robin.

Residents are encouraged to speak to Umcebo Design if they are keen to have a mural painted on a wall. There is also an appeal to any hardware stores which would help with a donation of some acrylic paint in the future.

Contact Robin on 083 793 3408, or visit:



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