Last week I participated in a behind-the-scenes tour of historic Paterson Park, on the border of Norwood and Orange Grove, to check out the public art projects in progress there. The park is undergoing a huge renovation, expected to finish in the next few months.
Paterson Park’s art installations are part of Art My Jozi, an initiative implemented by the Trinity Session and the Johannesburg Development Agency. Art My Jozi also spearheaded the S-bend mural project on Louis Botha Avenue, which I blogged about last year.
I’ve always been intrigued by the Norwood/Orange Grove area — it’s the Joburg neighborhood I find most similar to Melville, where I live — and I’d been eyeing the Paterson Park redevelopment for months. It felt great to get out of the house and visit this city project that is still going full-steam ahead, while so many other fun things are indefinitely stalled.
I explored the park with Laurice Taitz from Johannesburg in Your Pocket and Tariro Moyo, technical project manager and our guide from the Trinity Session.
Like all the Art My Jozi projects, the Paterson Park art installations were conceived through community participation and consensus. The works revolve around the themes of birds and trees — appropriate for a park in the centre of a city that is also an urban forest.
Strolling Around Paterson Park
We started our walk on Short Road, on the northern side of Paterson Park, then walked through the park and across Paterson Road to where the community center and swimming pool are being built.
I’m really looking forward to Paterson Park’s re-opening. For regular updates on its progress, follow Art My Jozi on Facebook.