South Africa’s best-kept art secret offers collectors access to artworks by established and emerging artists at a standard and affordable price, while invited African artists are afforded regular income and global exposure. They’re an addiction worth cultivating. But be warned – once you start…
From the collector’s perspective shopping for a Creative Block is a true treasure hunt. The 18x18cm format is standard as is the equal and affordable pricing, but the chance factor comes in recognizing a fresh emerging talent or a rare opportunity to buy a work by a distinguished name. Whether you’re starting or extending an art collection, the Creative Block provides the thrill of the hunt and the opportunity to own a unique artwork with an accessible price tag. As a collector you also become part of the creative process. As you acquire more Creative Blocks (we warned you, one is never enough) you can curate, arrange and rearrange your selection of works as your art collection and personal circumstances change. A unique perk to being a Creative Block owner is that you’re allowed to take Creative Blocks you already own and swap them out for new Creative Blocks anytime.
As part of the Nando’s Art Initiative the creative-loving peri-peri chicken business has embraced the magic of Creative Blocks for many years, and these artworks appear amongst the African art that’s hung on the walls of Nando’s restaurants worldwide. Look out for curated collections of Creative Blocks in Nando’s restaurants – when hung in a group the blocks create an experience that is a visual celebration of individual and unique creative talent.
The Creative Block programme was initiated in 2004. Today the programme is run by Yellowwoods Art and has engaged with more than 150 contributing artists to date. Every month, invited artists are given the 18cm x 18cm blocks, which they can transform however they choose. The artists bring back the finished blocks on a scheduled day a month later, where the blocks are critiqued and work of merit is bought immediately. The result is a collection of diverse artworks similar only in size – each block reflects a unique artistic experience and style, together displaying something magical.
The benefits for participating artists are numerous. Apart from the prospect of earning immediate income, artists are given an opportunity to expand their creativity and artistic territory. They receive critical, curatorial feedback through the project’s submission process and gain considerable exposure by connecting with art collectors the world over.
The Creative Block programme includes a large number of artists with a huge variety of skills and is the foundation of Yellowwoods Art very interesting ecosystem of opportunities for artists. While Nando’s has collected thousands of Creative Blocks over the years, their restaurants are not the only places where you’ll find colourful curated collections of Creative Blocks. Spier, a patron of Yellowwoods Art, has strong associations with the programme and has even created a range of award-winning wines inspired by the Creative Block programme.
Creative Blocks may be purchased at:
- Spier Stellenbosch, at the Wine Tasting Centre, in the Hotel Lobby and at Eight Restaurant
- AVA Gallery in Church Street, Cape Town
- Hollard’s Purple Store at 22 Oxford Road, Parktown, Johannesburg