Topthorn, star of War Horse, makes a visit to BASA Awards night, along with his masters, the Handspring Puppet Company.
“It is as difficult for a puppet to live on stage, as it is for a human to die on one,” concur founding members of the Handspring Puppet Company, Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler.
However, in the hands of their puppeteers, the to-scale horse Topthorn –star of the West End production War Horse at the National Theatre - was convincingly brought to life at the 14th annual Business and Arts South Africa Awards held at Turbine Hall last night. Adults approached with childlike fascination and trepidation after the awards presentation as the puppeteers continued to display their skill in animating Topthorn’s large cane skeleton, each unsettling motion demonstrating how carefully the characteristics and movements of a horse have been studied.
Champions of business and the arts were awarded for ensuring the life of the arts in SA. An impressive list of collaborators, mentors, sponsored projects and the artists themselves were presented in over a dozen tightly contested categories where businesses have engaged with the arts, developing equitable partnerships, which offer value to all involved.
Artist: Abri de Swardt
Medium: Photomontage, photography, video, performance
What you need to know: Up and coming recent Stellenbosch graduate, he works in intense and painstaking signature body collages, which are used as performance tools and documented in photographs and video. Not afraid of high concepts, but makes visually alluring and original work, despite the many theoretical references and clues they contain. Common themes so far includes constructions of masculinity, critiques of colonialism, and a preoccupation with spirituality. He says: “I have always been interested in the visualisation of the invisible, and particularly what this entails in a contemporary context where the spiritual is often decried as ludicrous (often with reason).”
Why you should take note: Only one show so far, but widely tipped to go far. Has the breadth of vision and technical depth to produce significant work.
Price: Too soon. Get in before the galleries! Gallery: Not yet.
BY JAMES SEY
So, you think that you’re free. It ain’t so! You have to go to work, earn money, pay taxes, even toe the party line. Freedom is a myth. As Janis Joplin sang in the song, Bobby McGee, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose… nothing ain’t worth nothing, but it’s free”. About the only freedom we have left these days is freedom of choice. So, naturally, master marketer Shai Evian, who started Liquid Chefs, sprang upon this idea when he opened his hip new cocktail bar in Rosebank. Specialising in both traditional and experimental cocktails, the Liquid Chefs cocktail menu lets you be the mixologist. You select your satisfaction process by deciding on your ambition, style spectrum, method model and axis of flavour.
Sound complicated? It works like this. Ambition refers to what you’re in the mood for? What’s your spirit? Traditional or infused with a signature flavour?
The style spectrum asks how you like it:, tangy, sweet, spicy, tart or hot?
The method model refers to your texture preference. Stirred, shaken, frozen or muddled, and the axis of flavour questions whether you’re a hardy or a softie.
At Liquid Chefs, The Bar, your freedom to choose is sacred. But if you like having your decisions made for you head barman Matt Peckham makes a killer classic Martini.
In partnership with the Wade Bales Wine Society, WANTED is offering readers the opportunity to purchase the Edgebaston Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, voted one of SA’s Top 100 wines and awarded four stars in the John Platter Wine Guide.
“Quality and a holistic approach to the production of wine is our ethos,” says winemaker David Finlayson, who is also the owner of this Stellenbosch winery.
This superb wine has been matured for 18 months in French oak. Characteristic cassis and blackcurrant are enhanced by fresh, minty herbaceousness and touches of mocha and vanilla oak. Firm tannins contribute to good ageing potential. The offer is
R998 per case of 12 bottles including VAT and delivery. Cellar door price is R110 per bottle, which means that WANTED readers save R322 per 12 bottle case.
Call Patricia Uribe-Daras on 021 7942151 or email here.
David Finlayson, the winemaker at Edgebaston, follows in illustrious winemaking footsteps, his father Walter having twice won the title of Diners Club Winemaker of the Year while at Blaauwklippen before starting acclaimed Paarl winery Glen Carlou.
David joined Walter at Glen Carlou as assistant winemaker in 1994 and worked his way up to CEO by 2003. The property was sold in due course to Hess Family Estates and David acquired a run-down farm in Stellenbosch which he set about transforming into Edgebaston Vineyards. He ran both properties simultaneously for a period before resigning from Glen Carlou in 2009 to concentrate on his new venture fulltime.
Now 39 years old, he is married to Lizel, who he describes as “homemaker, fashionista and my much needed ass-kicker”.
Artist’s name: Athi-Patra Ruga
Medium: Performance and multi-media (deconstructed tapestries, costumery, video, photography)
What you need to know: The performance artist who probably comes closest to Steven Cohen in rising to the serious courage of his convictions, Ruga’s videos, costumes and photographic images are a wildly original amalgam of fantasy and absurdity that entice viewers to step out of the staid and crippling old categories of race, class and gender, which he refers to as the ‘unholy trinity’. His tapestries are postmodern overhauls in which the purity and neatness of the traditional form are undercut by the roughness, the pulling, the mix of textures and dazzling disco colours that define his technique.
Why you should take note: Ruga was included in the 2009 Phaidon book, Younger Than Jesus, a directory of over 500 of the world’s best artists under the age of 33. All the tapestry works on his solo show at VoltaNY 2011 sold out. He has been invited by critic/curator RoseLee Goldberg to participate in Performa, a definitive New York arts event committed to performance art from around the world, in November 2011.
Price: Photographic works (in an edition of five) sell for R 9 500, tapestry pieces range from R15 000 to R40 000 (depending on size and complexity), and video works are priced at R18 000.
Gallery details: Whatiftheworld
For Kaelo, the innovative, holistic health and wellness company that provides comprehensive corporate health and HIV/AIDS solutions, the mission is to preserve, enhance and restore dignity to companies, their employees and their families. Founding Director Thabang Skwambane and his team have been dedicated to this mission since 2004 when they realised there needed to be more of a concerted response to the needs the average employee was facing in managing a healthy lifestyle. In a short seven years the company has expanded to include offices in Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and a satellite in Bloemfontein.
Skwambane , who heads the finance, IT and marketing aspects of the company, says Kaelo’s position is extremely relevant as there is a massive gap in Africa’s healthcare services.
When it comes to his style Skwambane likes his wardrobe to reflect his personality. His role is to be accessible and comfortable whether he is meeting clients or out in the field, therefore he generally goes for a smart but relaxed open shirt and suit without any accessories. Cut, quality and practicality are high on his list.
“I like things that are honest and show character. Therefore vintage furniture to me had an immediate attraction,” says Gavin Thomas, co-owner of Parkhurst furniture store Mødernist. “I like a lot of the last mid-century ideas in terms of design. This includes architecture, clothing and motorcars.”
Thomas and his business partner Anikesh Ramani wanted to create a store encompassing good design. “That’s how Mødernist came about. We carry predominantly vintage items at the moment but are currently expanding into newer design with the same principles.” Thomas is motorcycle mad. “I am also inspired by machinery,” he says. “A big passion of mine at the moment is building old motorcycles.”
Jan Smuts Avenue in Johannesburg presents an arresting array of galleries and independent establishments. One of these stands out with its blue walls and wrought iron gates, inviting you to wander inside a treasure trove of alluring exoticism.
The store is Hadeda, a space that specialises in lighting and mirrors, with plenty of striking ornaments along the way. Founded out of Des Armstrong’s home in Dunkeld 21 years ago, the concept remains to provide unique products that combine fantasy and function to the way we live.
Artist’s name: Ian Grose
What you need to know: Understated eroticism and a sense of loss or absence pervade the lushly rendered oils of Ian Grose. Depicting the ruffled sheets of an empty bed, a lone path through the snow-covered woods, or clothes strewn casually across a Persian carpet, his paintings are frequently depopulated, imparting a strange sense of emptiness – of someone having, just seconds before, departed the room. Painted from a collection of personal photographs, which combine low-brow snaps culled from the Internet with classical subject matter, his images play on the cultural proximity and slippage between the photographic image and painting.
Why you should take note: A hit at the Michaelis Graduate show at the end of 2010, Grose recently won the coveted 2011 Absa L’Atelier Art Award.
Price: About R4 000 to R30 000
Gallery details: Grose has exhibited at Blank Projects, iArt and the Goodman Gallery.
“I’m not interested in following trends. I’m not a ‘follower’ at all in fact. I much prefer to set my own trends. All my watches come from the same hand, the same head, the same source of passion.”
Step into the world of Italo Fontana, creator of U-Boat watches, and you immediately leave behind the somewhat dour Swiss watch industry in favour of something far less predictable and far more, well, Italian. Inspired by an original set of designs by his grandfather, Ilvo Fontana, and first created for the Italian navy in 1942, the unfailingly louche Fontana has spent the past decade developing a range of over-sized watches characterised by their legibility, limited production runs and classic aesthetic influences.
Proudly Made in Italy, the U-51 was U-Boat’s big new release at the BaselWorld 2010 watch fair and it made a triumphant return at this year’s show in a revised format, known as the Gold Crown Arrow. The generous 51mm case houses a Swiss-made chronograph movement with a date display at 9 o’clock alongside the left mounted 18k yellow gold winding crown secured in place by a screw-in cap that renders the watch especially watertight.
When combined with the gold chronograph pushers these elements add an extra 8,6mm to the total diameter of the piece and 36,6g of gold all in all. Less obvious, perhaps, but no less worthy of mention, is the dial. Made up of two separate watch faces laid one atop the other, there is a pleasing depth and texture to this particular part of the watch that in most instances is left purely one-dimensional. A hand-finished alligator strap with a gold personalised tongue completes the look.
BY MATT MORLEY
Welcome Msomi is a world acclaimed playwright, performer and choreographer and CEO of Welcome Msomi Communications. He’s lived in New York for 17 years and has travelled to some of the most interesting places in the world and met the most intriguing minds. He shares with us some of his favourite things.
- Nelson Mandela: Having had the privilege of working closely with Madiba, I was inspired by his humility and honesty.
- Barack Obama: I admire his belief in his ideals and fighting against all odds, believing that success is achievable.
- Gugu Mlambo Msomi: My wife is a favourite because learning to accept that the truth may be painful when being criticized, especially coming from someone who cares about you.
- New York: The city is like my second home, having spent 17 years enjoying amazing experiences.
- New York Museum of Natural History: Having spent time in Manhattan next to this Museum, it was always an inspiration to visit.
- Rio de Janeiro: I like the vibrancy of the city; the warmth of the Brazilians makes one understand living life to the fullest.
- The Ritz, London: I enjoy their new season lamb with minted peas and silver skin onions.
- The Algonquin Hotel Restaurant, New York: Their beef is delicious. A grilled tenderloin of beef does it for me!
- Linger Longer, Johannesburg: I love their Kingklip with Artichokes topped with Wild Mushrooms and Fresh Herbs.
Books and films:
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell: Gladwell features selected biographies of outstanding individuals who are a great inspiration to all of us.
- The Great Debaters: This is a great film directed by Denzel Washington that depicts the Wiley Debate team (made up of all black students) beating Harvard College in the 1930s. Although the meeting never took place, Wiley did beat the University of California team who were Debating Champions at the time.
- The Last Station: I enjoyed this movie about the final year of the Russian socialist writer Leo Tolstoy’s life with Christopher Plummer in the lead role and Helen Mirren as his wife Sofya.
Stylish and comfortable, Harveys at Winchester Mansions in Cape Town’s Sea Point, is the perfect post-work or lazy weekend cocktail spot. Overlooking the Atlantic Seaboard, the bar area, which recently received a touch of spit and polish, is stylish, spacious and unpretentious.
Famous for their tea and scones and jazz on Sundays, the makeover of Harveys bar is bound to attract a good-looking younger crowd to one of Cape Town’s most established beachfront hotels.
Harveys is indeed a toast to the good life. Barman Angelo Kammies talked us through their selection of cocktails.
Tasty treats at the Pick ‘n Pay Taste of Joburg
WANTED’s wine expert Christian Eedes rounds up the food and wine events happening during September.
8-9 September, Cape Town International Convention Centre
Sponsored by Rand Merchant Bank, WineX Cape Town will feature 1 500 wines from some 250 producers. In particular, visitors should look out for exhibitors participating in the Great Deals campaign, which sees select wines offered at discount prices. Deli refreshments will be for sale and a taxi service will be on stand-by for the safe ride home at special show prices. Bookings via Computicket.
Absa Capital Champagne Festival
11 September, Summer Palace, Johannesburg
Taste a wide selection of Champagne and enjoy French-style food using South African ingredients such as kudu chateaubriand . There will also be a charcuterie station, a crêpe station and a French patisserie display. Tickets are R495 per person and only 300 are being made available to the public.
Pick ‘n Pay Taste of Joburg
15-18 September, Montecasino Outdoor Event Area
The fifth annual Taste of Joburg sees a line-up of 14 top Johannesburg restaurants offering their signature dishes for visitors to sample. In addition, a number of premium food and drink brands will also be exhibiting while you can also attend demos at the Pick n Pay Fresh Living Chef’s Theatre.
The Joburg Bubbly Festival
17-18 September, Hyde Park Corner Shopping Centre, Johannesburg
Brought to you by Investec Specialist Bank, this event showcases over 30 Cap Classique and Champagne producers. Catering is by top local restaurants and visitors get to enjoy live music. Tickets are R250 per person and you can book via Webtickets.co.za
Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival
21-22 September, The Wanderers Club, Johannesburg
The 21st annual Juliet Cullinan Wine Festival sees 60 top Cape wineries exhibiting. Wines can be bought through the Makro Sip & Shop at special show prices, while Pick n Pay will offer an array of imported deli foods and Spiegelau and Rastal will showcase their exclusive glassware. Tickets are R130 per person and are available here.
The Good Food & Wine Show, Johannesburg
22-25 September, The Coca-Cola Dome
Now in its 12th year, this event allows visitors to sample the country’s finest food and wines. You can also watch cooking demos by top chefs (the line-up this year including Gordon Ramsay) and take part in hands-on cooking workshops.
Artist’s name: Mohau Modisakeng
Medium: Multi-media (sculpture, photography, video and installation)
What you need to know: A brooding sense of the potential for events to take an explosive turn pervades the taut, conceptually acute sculptures of Sowetan-born Mohau Modisakeng. Selecting iconic objects like a snuffbox, a megaphone, a political badge or an okapi knife, he blows out their scale to create immaculately honed outsize sculptures with sleek surfaces that call out to be touched. His work, which takes on a variety of forms, investigates the question of how violence continues to play a role in post-colonial African societies.
Why you should take note: A close contender for the 2010 MTN New ContemporariesAward, Modisakeng recently participated in FOCUS11, an African art showcase curated by Christine Eyene (London) that ran in tandem with Art Basel 2011.
Price: From around R7 000 for an unframed editioned photograph to around R40 000 for a sculptural piece.
Gallery details: In South Africa, he has exhibited at Michael Stevenson, AVA and Blank Projects. He has also exhibited at Dork in Basel, Swizerland.
An oasis of bright colour, Liebermann Pottery is a weird and wonderful place to shop. Housed in the ragged red brick Old Gasworks building in Auckland Park, the crumbling down effect of the 3000-odd square metre warehouse forms the perfect backdrop to the piles and piles of eye-catching pottery. Flower pots in vivid orange, grass green, sunflower yellow and cobalt blue are stacked up to shoulder height. It’s a veritable feast for the eye, interrupted only by the incessant crowing of the resident rooster, which manages to drown out the sound of traffic.
Every Thursday evening, the folks at Loading Bay, the café and apparel store in Cape Town’s De Waterkant, serve up some of the best burgers in the country.
Their menu for tomorrow night will be sure to keep both the carnivores and the veggie-lovers happy:
The spot gets pretty packed, so be sure to book: 021 4256321.