Joburg signs say beware

#134. Watch out … for Parktown Prawns, those suburban creatures who are as hardy as cockroaches and ugly as prawns and are said to be set for survival in the event of a nuclear holacaust.  This sign has cropped up on Glenside Road in Greenside.


It’s the work of artist Bie Venter, according to an article in the local gazette, who decided to erect the sign as a memorial for her cat who was run over outside her house.  “I liked the idea of having people look twice as it’s not what they expect. I want my art to create an emotional reaction, but prefer to make people laugh.”  The sign has changed from urging passersby to watch out for kudu (homage to “the leaping bronze kudus relocated from Harry Openheimer Square to the city centre”) to pigeons.

Growing up it was a treat to drive down Sylvia Pass past a house on Goodman Terrace where, in the 70s’, the owner would create weird and delightful ‘installations’ out of waste materials. Old pram parts, a bicycle wheel, a kite, coloured pieces of plastic or fabric. Today this is environmentally conscious art — but then most adults would point at the house and then point at their head,  making that circular motion with their hand — sheer craziness they would mutter.

It’s reassuring that suburbs have more to be recommended by then just being ‘leafy’.

I ‘ll be watching for more signs.

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