Join me (Kate Crane Briggs) for an inspiring morning walking in a creative corner of Cape Town. We start with meeting young, modest but successful, Pierre Vermeulen in his spacious studio – an industrial office space with a large windows and mountain view. This visit never fails to disappoint. Using unusual materials, including his own hair and sweat, Pierre creates striking, bright almost abstract artworks. They are deeply grounded in his own meditative practice and can be found in collectors near and far (eg (ZMOCAA, Germany, USA and UK).
We’ll walk five mins to one of my favourite South African galleries, whatiftheworld. Ashleigh McLean, the head curator, will give us a quick tour of a selection of their artists’ work, including Chris Soal’s major new solo. Like Pierre, Chris is youngish, charming and uses unusual materials (typically wooden tooth picks). But he is based in Victoria Yards (Joburg) otherwise I would have invited him along too. (His fans include fellow Joburger, William Kentridge.)
For another sensory treat, olfactory as well as visual, Maria de la Tara, the founder of Wild Olive African Artisans, will host us briefly in her apothecary and perfume house, 29 Pepper St. It is in a beautiful, traditional old Cape Town house, with a huge sugar bird painted on the corner, as only local and natural ingredients are used in this atelier.
We’ll pop to see Skinny laMinx founder, Heather Moore, in her cute shop (201 Bree St) – the first cool place in this previously uninspiring area. Her Orla Keely inspired textiles and early Modernist aesthetic has an international following, especially in the States, but she only works with independent retailers.
For jewellery, there is another local design star, Dear Rae,164 Bree St, as well as a vintage clothes shop and Missibaba – I’m saving up for one of their gorgeous leather handbags. But we’ll not have time for every shop in this delightful enclave.
Ask about dates: firstname.lastname@example.org 072 377 8014 (I like WhatsApp)
This was held on Tues 2 March; 10am to 12 noon
R400 each pre-pay (R500 on the day)
Please remember your mask (and hand sanitizer – although each ‘stop’ has some – Wild Olive’s should be amazing!)
Lunch suggestion if you have time – Sea Breeze for some yummy “Vitamin Sea”, 213 Bree St; pay your own bill
Explore with me Cape Town’s Creative Quarters
Images: main one above – Pierre in his studio in Jan with American Culture Connectors; below Chris Soal’s “As below, so above” taken by Chris Bradley, Heather Moore – Skinny LaMinx founder (Visi) and Wild Olive (TripAdvisor)