An exceptional opportunity for an art tour, followed by drinks and canapes, at one of South Africa’s top, small, luxury hotels. Many say its South African art collection is one of the best in terms of its breadth, quality and depth. The art is beautifully placed around the hotel, garden and gallery; it is as if the art was in a home (it is even in their pantry!).
Our tour is by Talita Swarts – one of the country’s top art guides who has been giving the tours at Ellerman House for nearly a decade and is currently researching key artworks for the owner, Paul Harris.
Enjoying the spectacular sea view, we’ll be treating ourselves to a glass of Colmant Brut Reserve NV (for the non-alcohol drinkers, a fabulous cocktail) and four different kinds of canapes (including some that are wheat and pork free), plus plenty of special water.
R850 per person.
It will be a small group – 12 max in total.
The highest Covid-19 protocols are in place but please bring your own mask.
Architects attending can get 0.5 CPD points and will have to sign a “register” to show they attended.
Colmant Brut Reserve NV is a blend of Pinot Noir (52%) and Chardonnay (48%) grapes grown in Franschhoek, Robertson and Elgin. A portion of the base wine – just 10% – was fermented in French oak barrels. A further 20% of the blend comprises reserve wines from previous vintages. Each bottle matures a minimum of 30 months before it is released. It can be enjoyed now but will develop beautifully over four to five years.
Arthur Barker works at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Architecture where he co-ordinates the Professional Masters programme and the Heritage and Cultural Landscapes Research field. His main research interest is the architecture of South Africa, and in particular, the Fourth Modern Movement. For the Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II’s Dipartimento di Architettura, Arthur has just finished a chapter on Pius Pahl for an Italian publisher, Clean Edizioni.
See Culture Connect’s YouTube Channel to watch Prof Barker’s lecture on Thurs 22 Oct on Gabriël (Gawie) Fagan (1925 – 2020). His residential work, the subject of Prof Barker’s doctorate, is widely admired for its synthesis of the local Cape vernacular and aspects of the Modern Movement. He died in the home on 13 Sept he built with his family in the mid 1960s, Die Es (“The Hearth”). It is hugely admired by architects and design writers, locally and internationally. Gawie started out as an architect for Volkskas Bank (now ABSA) and designed 50 banks for the next 10 years. In 1964 he founded his own practice in Cape Town, “specialising in designing contemporary buildings and landscapes in sensitive contexts” to quote the website. He is most proud of his restoration work at Tulbagh, after the 1969 earthquake. (His many projects include Castle of Good Hope, Boschendal, Cape Point Entrance Gate and Chauvonnes Battery).
On Thurs 29 Oct, Prof Barker, also exclusively for Culture Connect, gave a talk on Pius Pahl (1909 – 2003). Pahl was at the Bauhaus when it closed in 1933 and Mies van der Rohe was the architectural director. After World War 2 Pius started his own practice in Ludwigshafen and Mainz. He married a South African and in 1952 they moved to the Western Cape where he ran his own practice (and taught at UCT). To quote the FT Pius was “one of the longest-surviving students of the original Bauhaus [and designed St Martini in the late 1950s], one of the largest apartment complexes in central Cape Town…regarded as one of the finest works of the Louis Karol architectural practice, for whom Pahl worked on the design.” Architect and Senior Lecturer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Dr Rudolf Perold talked briefly about living at St Martini Gardens. At the end the Van der Horsts spoke affectionately about living in Pahl designed homes – first St Martini, then houses they commissioned one in Newlands (Cape Town), and the other by the coast at Betty’s Bay.
These two talks follow an intro to Modernism on 15 Oct, 2020, by Culture Connect’s Kate Crane Briggs in conversation with Catherine Croft, Director 20th Century Society (UK), Catherine spoke during Culture Connect’s Zoom series on Brutalism in July, with Martin Kruger, architect and urbanist based in Cape Town. Dr Gabriele Neri (Switzerland) spoke about Nervi’s Good Hope Centre. While architect and academic, Albert van Jaarsveld did a Culture Connect Zoom about Brutalism and Apartheid. All viewable on Culture Connect’s YouTube Channel.
Images: Gawie Fagan’s own house, Camps Bay (image from Pinterest – visi.co.za); Pius Pahl’s drawing for a block of flats in Clifton, Cape Town; students dormitory of the Bauhaus school by Walter Gropius 1926 Pinterest and Arthur Barker (University of Pretoria’s website).
First Nations to democracy: three centuries of stories about the shaping of the Cape Town as we know it. Hugely knowledgeable and experienced, Lesley Cox, is leading this new walking tour. We start by the main yellow gates of the Castle of Good Hope, 9:30am and finish at 11:30am, by the war memorials, just up from Company’s Garden Restaurant.
Book your own (three people, or more) – wonderful for your friend and/or family ‘bubble’.
At the Castle moat, we’ll get a sense of life before the European settlers arrived. We’ll absorb the views of the City Hall and Grand Parade, before walking to the front of City Hall where there is the newish statue of Nelson Mandela, where he gave his speech on the day of his release. Next will be Church Square, which Lesley calls the Slave Precinct. Here we’ll get an understanding of early settler life at the Cape. We’ll then stop in front of St George’s Anglican Cathedral and the segment of the Berlin Wall. Then we’ll head through Company’s Gardens. On route we will we engage with South Africa’s political history, especially when we are outside South Africa’s Parliament. We’ll pass the statues of Queen Victoria, Jan Smuts, Cecil Rhodes and World War memorials.
Lesley, with 169 reviews in TripAdvisor all five out of five, has been guiding for 18 years in and around Cape Town. She has an Honours Degree in History from the University of South Africa and specialises in walking tours in city centre. Some of you may have met Lesley as she regularly attends Culture Connect’s open tours and lectures about South African history. Lesley has just been voted onto the committee of the Simon van del Stel Foundation of Cape Town, nationally known as the Heritage Association of South Africa.
R250pp pay a week prior, or R300 each.
This walking city tour can be commissioned for a private tour at a mutually convenient date.
All tours will be small but please wear a mask and cancel if you are ill.
To book: click here to email firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp/tel 072 377 8014.
Remember to wear footwear good for walking on pavements. Please dress according to the weather and, if you are likely to get thirsty or peckish, water and snacks. As with all cities around the world, please keep your phone and wallet safe during the tour; leave jewellery at home.
Images: The Castle from the Parade by TW Bowler, c1854 (from Parliament’s collection); view of Grand Parade and City Hall taken by Lesley from the top perimeter ring of the Castle; Parliament of South Africa, c1888 (from Parliament’s collection) and a detail of Lady Anne Barnard’s panoramic view from the Castle, watercolour, c1799.
Police brutality, protests and vandalising statues continue both in the United States and South Africa. Exclusively for Culture Connect SA Dr LaNitra Berger, Senior Director of Fellowships at George Mason University in Virginia, was in conversation on Zoom with Melanie Burke, societal change practitioner, based in St James, Cape Town on Thursday, 6 Aug 2020.
Monuments were the target of international protests against racial inequality after George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis on 25 May. As recently as 14 July, Rhodes head was sawn off at Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town, and found nearby in the bushes. #rhodesmustfall and #feesmustfall, 2015 – 2016, were the largest student protests in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994.
What is happening now in both countries, how do they differ, what are the parallels and how can we address positive change with a broader perspective and #BlackLivesMatter?
Click here to watch on Culture Connect SA’s YouTube Channel. Free but please donate to StreetSmart South Africa, helping streets kids in and around Cape Town (Melanie Chairs this charity).
Recently LaNitra has been involved many similar online conversations. She is an art historian and her book is just about to be published by Bloomsbury Academic, called Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art: Audacities of Color. She is the author of Exploring Education Abroad: A Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minority Participants, by AFSA Association of International Educators who is also publishing her forthcoming book, Social Justice and International Education: Research, Practice, Perspectives. In 2018 LaNitra led a tour to South Africa for George Mason students as part of their Monuments course (Culture Connect facilitated a public art tour for this). She works in the faculty for African and African American Studies.
Melanie is hugely respected for her cross-sectoral work. Kate Crane Briggs of Culture Connect, first met Melanie in 2011 when Melanie was a director of MoDILA – Museum of Design, Innovation, Leadership and the Arts. Subsequently Kate did the Common Purpose leadership course led by Melanie who leads social entrepreneurship and innovation programmes in Cape Town for students at Maryland University, less than a hour’s drive from George Mason University, the other side of Washington DC.
The conversation was convened and chaired by Kate Crane Briggs and moderated by Sanet Tattersall.
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