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Parliament with Lila Komnick (Artworks) – Jan 2021 tbc

Parliament with Lila Komnick (Artworks) – Jan 2021 tbc

Parliament’s art and architecture speak to South Africa’s colonial history, mining prosperity, Apartheid and democracy.  For this exclusive Culture Connect our, Lila Komnick is our host and guide. She has worked for Parliament for over three decades – starting as a Hansard reporter and, since it inception, the Artworks Office. Kate Crane Briggs, Culture Connect’s founder, will be co-leading.

We will go inside the main assembly chambers (South Africa’s tricameral parliament of three legislative chambers was unique), walk the corridors of power and see behind the scenes, including the art store which has work ranging from a large print by William Kentridge to top portraitists of their day. We’ll also see the 120m long Keiskamma Tapestry telling the story of the Eastern Cape, including South Africa’s first democratic elections (see image below). This contrasts with the small Africana artworks, including South African animals now extinct by François Levaillant, the noted French ornithologist, author, explorer, naturalist and zoological collector.

Lunch afterwards, optional, round the corner in a private venue, 6 Spin St – hosted by Robert Mulders, with De Meye wine (the building was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, like some of Parliament).

Cost: R550 early bird, then R700 includes lunch and info pack (tour only half price R275/R350)

A scan/photo of your ID/passport, plus ID/passport number, are needed a week in advance

Meeting point: Parliament’s Visitor Centre 120 Plein Street, Cape Town, 8000 (opposite Botha large horse bronze statue)

Next date being finalised for mid Jan depending on the Covid19 regulations for visiting Parliament; currently it isn’t possible to have art tours in Parliament.

Art Deco Central Cape Town, Wed 11 Nov, 5-7pm

Art Deco Central Cape Town, Wed 11 Nov, 5-7pm

Led by heritage architect, Dr André van Graan, our Art Deco tour focuses on outstanding examples of “moderne” architecture in Cape Town’s centre, including Greenmarket Square, Darling Street and St George’s Mall.

André is the expert on Cape Town’s Art Deco. Over many years he has lectured on the subject and on Thursday 14 January 1pm will be giving an online talk for the UCT Summer School (R70). André collects Art Deco and wrote his PhD on how modern architecture developed in Cape Town from 1918 to 1948. André was a key member of the organising committee for the Art Deco International Congress held in Cape Town which had its gala in the Banking Hall (guests dressed in Art Deco style!).

Our walking tour starts at 4:45pm with De Meye wine and snacks at Mullers. It is still an optometrist, its original purpose, and has all its Art Deco fittings and furnishings (design writer, Paul Duncan, says in his book, Hidden Cape Town, such an interior would be in a museum in other countries). We finish at the impressive former headquarters of Old Mutual, now called Mutual Heights. It was the tallest building in Africa when it was built in 1939. Its banking hall remains largely untouched – it is closed to the general public but we will have special access.

Book soon as space is limited (please remember your mask and cancel if you are feeling unwell).

Starting point: Mullers Optometrists, 104 Longmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001 (they close at 4:30pm but will be opening up specially for us)

Finishing: Mutual Heights,14 Darling St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000

Two hours: 4:45pm for 5pm start; finish 7pm

Early bird: R300 pre-pay or R400 cash on the evening

Afterwards there is the option to join us for supper at Gorgeous George, at your own expense. We’ll be at their roof top restaurant with glimpses over to Greenmarket Square where we’ll hopefully be able to see the upper parts of the Art Deco buildings there.

Images: Market House (Greenmarket Sq); Mullers’ facade detail; design proposal for Market House (picture by Art Harris) and Mutual Height’s entrance “hall”