Nature is Louder - Street Art Intervention  

The Nature is Louder Street Art Intervention activates Makhanda's public space with a collaborative and site specific large scale public mural by a dynamic crew of Makhanda based artists led by Mook Lion. The mural will explore the nexus between the rebelliousness of nature and the imposition of the built environment. This mural will be a continuation of the Nature is Louder Street Art Project which activated Makhanda’s public space during the 2021 National Arts Festival.

Coming off the back of a successful public mural at the Rhodes University Journalism Department, Mook Lion, Phila Phaliso, Arno Cornelissen and Sive Ntombana are eager to collaboratively create a new public mural and further develop their skills as an artistic team. They aim to reflect the rebelliousness of nature and ask, what can we learn from the dissident creativity of nature? This intervention also seeks to include the local Makhanda residents in the culture of the festival. This project culminates with a street art tour which will uncover the meanings and process of the new mural as well as the burgeoning street art scene in Makhanda.


Book to join the artists on one of three walkabouts.

22 June: This walkabout is on foot, so please dress accordingly

29 June: The two walkabouts on this day are driven, so space is extremely limited. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Artist Biography

Mook Lion

Mook Lion is Makhanda based arts practitioner with over ten years of professional industry experience. In 2019 Mook completed his Masters in Fine Art at the Durban University of Technology. His practice-based research focused on street art and mural art as visual activism in Durban, and the production of site-specific, socially conscious artwork in the public domain. Although his predominant artistic mediums are mural and street art, Mook has experience in printmaking, painting, drawing, and design, and has worked with a wide array of clients from NGO’s, to brands, businesses, galleries, universities, film production companies and arts festivals. Integral to Mook’s ideology and practice is his community-minded approach to art and his work often involves collaborations with both experienced artists, students and community members. By repurposing wasted urban space, Mook aims to produce art that performs a social and cultural function in society. His themes often respond to current socio-political issues and the importance of nature preservation, among others. In his off time, Mook finds respite through surfing and diving in the ocean.

Phila Phaliso

Phila Phaliso has been making art for 10 years now. Ceramic and paint are the mediums she has been most focused on following her diploma. She’s done murals in places such as the Bat Center, Queenstown Art Centre, the Rhodes University Journalism Department to name a few. She has participated in an Artists in Schools program facilitating and assisting teachers, introducing art in schools. She has also worked as a gallery assistant at Rhodes University and the National Arts Festival.

She is currently based in Makhanda in the Eastern Cape. She studied her Diploma and B.Tech Degree in fine art at the Walter Sisulu University. She then did her Honor’s in art history and is currently studying her Master’s in fine art at Rhodes University.

She wants her art to be informative and start discussions. Her work is an ongoing series of research on queer theories and the representation of black women, and queer communities in contemporary South African art. 

She seeks inspiration from everyday social spaces and experiences. In the near future she wants to be able to be a part of residencies to learn more from different spaces and artists and have solo exhibitions outside of academia.  


Arno Cornelissen 


Arno was born in Johannesburg and is currently living in Makhanda, Eastern Cape.

He is experienced (since 2019) in graffiti and street art and is proficient with spray paint and acrylic. Mural experiences include a month-long, large-scale project with Mook Lion as the leader of the team for the Journalism Department of Rhodes University. 

Currently Arno is completing his 4th year in Journalism at Rhodes University. Specialised areas include arts and culture, graffiti, street art, and gonzo journalism. He is proficient with writing, photography, audio and video and has had articles and reviews published in The Critter, Daily Dispatch, Cue, News24, Grocott’s Mail, and SA GoodNews.

Sive Ntombana 

Sive Ntombana is a South African artist born in the Eastern Cape (2002). He is currently a student at Rhodes University studying for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Sive is a painter who alternates between the painting medium and charcoal medium. He has assisted Mook Lion with two murals around Makhanda.



Mook Lion

Phila Phaliso

Arno Cornelissen

Sive Ntombana

  • School of Journalism and Media Studies
  • Africa Media Matrix Building, Rhodes University Campus
  • Daily during the Festival 09:00 to 17:00
  • Daily entry to the exhibitions is free. The schedule walkabouts have a minimal cost and booking is essential.