The Lady of Hope has returned to the waters of Black River, this time holding a baby in her arms as she floats on the river in a boat. The mournful and sad expression on her face is intended to provide a deeper message, and the mysterious statue can be seen by drivers on the M5 highway when in place.

It has become a well-recognised art installation in Cape Town, with very little known about her creators and when she can be expected to be seen upon the waters – she is not a permanent fixture there. You can find her in the stretch of river between Mowbray and Pinelands just north of Raapenberg road bridge.

In an interview with the Southern Suburbs Tatler, creator of the statue and local resident Fred du Preez revealed that the enigmatic art piece was placed on the waters by his team on Human Rights Day to send a message to passersby. “It was a positive thing putting something into the water called Hope on a day called Human Rights Day,” he said.

Creator, Fred du Preez, and Lindile Matshaya after erecting the statue in the Black River.

Du Preez added that the new addition of the Lady’s baby is intended to be symbolic: “Her infant baby is called South Africa, let’s hope the infant can grow.”

A close up shot of the Lady of Hope and her baby.

The sculpture is the work of the KOP arts co-operative and arrived after the Black River has been cleaned of waste. The previous installation focused on the drawing attention to the murky and filthy polluted waters of the Black River and was painted an electric and eye-catching blue.

The Lady of Hope.

Currently working as an art director for a local film company, Du Preez and his team are also responsible for the previous statues seen floating on the Black River. We are not sure how long this new statue will be up for as she is known to disappear in a moment, removed under the cover of darkness.

The Lady of Hope, Briony Chisholm, Facebook
The Lady of Hope, Jean Stephenson

Picture: Riverman, Facebook

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about animals, social issues, the environment and current affairs.