Sunday, November 27, 2011

Food Wine & Design Fair 2011 - Hyde Park Rooftop 25 - 27 Nov., 2011.

Botanica Products, Studio Formafantasma,
as cited in Vogue living Australia.
See more images and text below.
It is that time of the year again; the summer is upon us. Time to get out of the office and the comfort of our homes to enjoy the sunshine, the hot weather and the green grass. 

The flowers are blooming and for some of us the flesh is freshly tanned from the scorching sun on the Highveld. This weekend offer those individuals keen on good food, good wine and fine design, the opportunity to celebrate the natural goodness that life has to offer.
The Food Wine Design Fair - Hyde Park Rooftop 25 - 27 Nov. 2011. I am referring to all things natural and authentic – the Neo green as cited at Neo Green Life. Their buzzwords are ‘sustainable’, ‘clean and green’ and ‘carbon footprint sound the call for a new paradigm that will protect our planetary resources for future generations.

Goet Design
This year’s Food Wine Design Fair (Roof top Hyde Park), it would seem, the focus is on everything clean and green. Wood is everywhere to be seen. The emphasis is definitely on the natural, there is no need for heavy makeup, and don’t expect excessive glamour. Be yourself and dress freshly for the occasion, come prepared to relax, to touch and to smell. It is all good, fresh and delicious. 

Batch Design
Latest Trends as cited in Elle Decoration SA & Vogue Living Australia.

These ideas are in keeping with the latest trends as advocated by the local Elle Decoration and Vogue Living Australia. Issue no 80 revealing 42 New Ways with Flowers and Invouge focusing on Organic matters – the natural bounty.

Overberg Farmhouse interior as cited in Elle Decoration

Deco’s spring issue is packed with springtime inspiration – from clever ways with flowers to garden fresh recipes. But says Laureen Rossouw the editor, it is also about being imaginative and spontaneous, and staying open to the beauty around you, no matter the weather. 
(as cited in Elle Decoration Oct/Nov 2011, page 9)

Nic Bladen, Botanical Sculptures.
 Frozen in space to preserve a piece of nature. 

The work of Nic Bladen needs special mention here, beautifully cast jewellery and sculptural works. Demonstrating his master casting techniques. Reminiscent of botanical studies, true to life, they embody our determination to preserve nature at a time of radical climate change and global warming. Untouched and unspoilt, these plants will not fade or die, frozen in space even their roots are captured, leaving nothing to the imagination, but everything to be admired and desired.

Botanica Products, Studio Formafantasma.
As cited in Vogue living Australia.

Invouge’s Organic Matters.

Produced by Studio Formafantasma, the Botanica exhibition was a highlight of the recent Milan Design Week. The project, commissioned by Italy’s Plart Foundation, investigates Eco alternatives to synthetically derived plastics: natural -, plant -, and animal based polymers such as dammar (a varnish tapped from trees) and shellac ( a resin secreted from the Lac Beetle). 

Vase, Botanica Exhibition.
Studio Formafantasma

These faux-plastic pieces have found voice in a move to organic materials , motifs, pictured above and below. (cited in vogue Living Sep/Oct 11, page 25 and 26).

Please do yourself a favour and visit the Studio Formafantasma website, it is an inspiration. Not only are the products evolutionary organic but they beautifully designed and styled, with a strong Japanese minimalistic look and feel throughout. These are breathtakingly beautiful products and images. Bravo Studio Formafantasma.

Coffee Table, Botanica Exhibition.
Studio Formafantasma
All the goodness the Swartland has to offer.
Make your way to Hyde Park Johannesburg today for the final day of the second Food Wine Design Fair 25 - 27November 2011. The design is fine, the food is divine, the wine sublime and people awesome. Situated in a long tent on the roof-top of the shopping complex, the quirky dining tables placed down the center of the space and the products of the finest jewelers, craftspeople, winemakers and top chefs are situated on either side. The displays of furniture, ceramics, Art on paper and all things edible heightens the senses, contributing to a fabulous atmosphere. I loved the flower croquettes from the BarBarBlackSheep Restaurant. They are based in Riebeek Kasteel – 60 min drive from Cape Town on the N7. Absolutely delicious. Scaled down from last year’s fair, the reduction in craft exhibits are disappointing, but does not in anyway impact on the fantastic and fabulous food wine and design event. It needs your support as it is truly local, green and clean – what more could you ask for.

I went for a few hours in the afternoon and stayed almost the entire evening. Loved it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Table Mountain - a new World Wonder.

Spectacular vista from table mountain

Table Mountain, the world heritage site was voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. As a mountain goat (born in the Western Cape) I could not resist to get all emotional and nostalgic. Brought on by the fact that it is the almost the end of a rather hectic year. 
The summer recess is imminent and I must be feeling homesick – this after migrating to the Highveld many, many years ago.  Maybe it’s the desire within to get closer to nature – or worse, to escape Johannesburg for all the right reasons. 
Dare I say, it rates as one of the ugliest cities in the world – especially during the dry, cold and colourless winters. There are no mountains (only koppies), or a major river and there is no sound of waves crushing down on sandy shores. 

Although I hated the Cape’s wet winters and the hectic South Easter (wind), nothing beats the Cape beaches, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Point and the Wine Route, etc., etc., etc. An absolutely fabulous holiday destination. 
up the mountain in 1995-6
When last have you taken the cableway up Table Mountain? The images above show me on the Mountain in1995-6. I was particularly impressed with the amazing landscape architectural structures from which to enjoy the many spectacular vistas of the Western Cape. 
Beautifully designed and constructed with classical lines reminiscent of yacht’s bow. (seen here on the left). Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company was recently accredited for their efforts in environmental and social responsible tourism in Southern Africa. They were declared the overall winner at the Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards. All drinking water, sewage and waste is transported via the cable car.

For a virtual experience visit the following site Table Mountain  - a 720 degrees virtual view from the top (scroll down on the link provided). An absolute must see if you cant get there in person.
The Amazon 
The six other new seven wonders of the world are the Amazon  in South America, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Iguazu Falls in Argentina, Jeju Island in South Korea, Komodo Island in Indonesia and the Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines.
Iguazu Falls in Argentina

Halong Bay in Vietnam
Jeju Island in South Korea
Komodo Island
Puerto Princesa Underground River

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hon's homage to Sue Greenberg

The blogger captured this image on one of his trips to NID in India.
The truth be told, that when truly great figures, synonymous with the founding and managing of organisations, centres of excellence, NGOs, galleries and museums, move on, it more than often heralds in the end of an era. Their drive and commitment is fueled on by their uncompromising passion. Their heart felt vision impregnates every nook and cranny of the cause and is manifested throughout the organization in every object, product, decision and effect. Such is the nature of the beast, of which legacies are made. Loved and or hated for their every decision, the go-ahead required in every sphere of the place and or space, spurned on by their meticulous attention to detail. A hands-on approach often misconstrued as their need to control. However no one would disagree, that long after this journey has ended, fondest memories, will linger longer in the acknowledgements and admiration of their family, friends, and protégés. Theirs is a contribution that will forever be remembered; etched in the historical archives, but more importantly, is shared and honoured by all in the community.

Ukhamba Zanele 
Mention those who contributed significantly to the development of the crafts in KwaZulu Natal (rural and urban) for decades, then one individual stands out as a key pillar of the arts and crafts community. Sue Greenberg’s nurturing qualities are endearing. Her commitment and dedication often extended far beyond the call of duty and available resources.  All in support of the joy of making – the handcrafted artifact.  Hence the name of her most recent craft ventures, The Artisan, the meticulously considered, beautifully realized, efficiently and effectively managed Gallery on Florida Road. 
Artisan Contemporary Gallery

Her promotional and curatorial endeavours in support of the crafts (National Living Treasures) may have changed location, position and face over many years, but her steadfast commitment to promote the work of local crafts people, will forever be remembered by all whom have had the pleasure to meet her and work with her. I am sure all artists, crafts people and in particular ceramists would agree, that her decision to move on, will leave a huge gap in the local crafts and in particular the ceramics sector - follow link to see the ceramics in her gallery. Her experience and knowledge will be sorely missed, the impact of which will be felt far beyond the borders of KwaZulu-Natal for many years to come.   
One of our many field trips into the Tugela Valley. Gauhar Raza,
Hester Du Plessis and Sue Greenberg, visiting the
Mgwassa potters. 
I personally stand in awe of her generous support to the ceramic and craft communities. I have known Sue as a personal friend for many years. Our association reaches far back and involved numerous ceramic and craft ventures, including the establishment of the local craft council, excursions into the rural areas (see images above) and curating numerous awards exhibitions. More recently Homage to Nesta Nala, held at the FADA Gallery in 2007 (images featured here and Below).  Without her contribution, our national exhibitions and competitions would not have been truly representative.
Nesta Nala, Uphiso, collection UJ.
Nesta Nala, Ukhamba. 
In our many years of collaboration and association, one event in particular, stands out as an unforgettable experience. The moment Nesta Nala was pronounced the Gold Award winner at the first ever-prestigious FNB Vita Crafts Now Awards exhibition - held in Natal in 1995. This was  the year SA won the Rugby world cup.
Nesta Nala
Image Hon.
Everyone was so emotional. Honouring Nesta Nala in the flesh with this prestigious national award, herald in a new era for local crafts. The awards exhibition bore testimony to our diverse cultures – finally we have reached our goal to promote the work of all craftspeople across the nation - rural and urban. As the co-founder of the South African Crafts Council, I worked closely with Sue Greenberg, the local Crafts Council Coordinator, to host and curate the awards exhibition sponsored by First National Bank. 
Ukhamba, Zanele Nala. 
Some of our local crafts people live in the most remote areas of our country and for centuries their contribution to our culture remained unrecognized (apartheid legacy). Sue’s close association and communication with the artist and her family ensured the artist's presence at the event (at short notice) - she had to make many personal sacrifices to achieve this. Woman like Sue are seldom honoured for their uncompromising support for the local crafts by regional and national governments. She made it happen at all costs and it was very special indeed. A moment I will cherish forever. Bravo Sue Bravo. 
Exhibition at Artisan titled Memories
Please come and show her your support at this her swan-song exhibition at the Artisan Contemporary Gallery, titled Memories – a mixed media exhibition by 30 artists in celebration of a 29-year association with Sue Greenberg. To be opened by Brenden Bell, director of the Tatham Art Gallery, at 18:00 on Wednesday 9 November.