Making a mark with art

Gail Wilson is a local artist easily recognisable by her long, bright pink hair. She is well-known in both the Johannesburg street photography and Johannesburg Heritage Foundation circles.

Gail’s parents moved from Kimberley to Johannesburg when she was a child. She returned to Kimberley to complete her high school education, but later came back to Johannesburg and has remained here ever since.

Gail often takes part in local art events, such as Land Art installations. Creating tree wraps is just one of her creative art forms. Since creating her first tree wrap she has improved greatly and now has it down to a fine art.

She currently uses a bright pink synthetic fabric that is weather resistant and more durable than other material. The large letters are then drawn onto the wrap with the aid of a stencil, and painted with black acrylic paint. The white patterns are drawn on with a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen, which is a pigmented India ink.


For the first few tree wraps a white correction pen was used as there were no white permanent ink markers available in the country at the time.
Using the correction pen for a large project was cumbersome because Gail had to squeeze the pen constantly to get the correction fluid out.

The white permanent ink Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen applies easily and does not clump, which makes it perfect for using on the wraps.

Gail’s tree wraps with the large words “Hug Me” have been installed in a number of locations around Johannesburg – but they don’t remain in place for long, disappearing after about two or three days.

The only tree wraps still in place are at The Wilds in Houghton, Johannesburg.
You can follow Gail’s blog here.

Image credits: Gail Wilson / Mark Straw

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