Cape Town, it’s First Thursdays this week! Visit a wonderfully curated mid-century design shop, view a group show at 99 Loop, and work by Zaan Claassens, Norman O’Flynn and Florine Demosthene. There’s also a poetry festival, a talk on design and public space as well as the Underwater Photographer of the Year exhibit to see. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground!
Stop 1: StateoftheART | 61 Shortmarket Street
The fluid and transformative quality of water is what Zaan Claassens aims to capture in her latest exhibition of oil paintings and bronze sculptures. She says of Walking on Water that, “Something is born in the water, something greater than the sum of its parts. It is my intention to create beautifully crafted and highly detailed art works. The quality I aspire to create is not only one of technical excellence, but also one of emotional elevation. I hope that those who view my work and choose to live with it will experience upliftment”. View Facebook for more.
Stop 2: 99 Loop | Cnr Church Street
The group exhibition, Vanitas is a contemporary reinterpretation of vanitas art. Traditionally, the genre included symbols of skulls, decaying food and dying flowers to remind one of the ephemeral nature of life. Participating artists include Lizza Littlewort, Chris Valentine and Nina Torr to name a few. Visit here for more.
Stop 3: Worldart | 54 Church Street
Using plexi-glass layers, Norman O’Flynn’s The Good, the Bad and the Boom! renders portraits that make everyday traumas seem like consumerist products. The influence of pop art on his work is evident through his strong comic illustrative style and bold colour palette. Click here for more.
Stop 4: Gallery MOMO | 170 Buitengracht Street
The Burst by Florine Demosthene explores the female body and dozens of stereotypes associated with it. “Images do not prompt me to create, words do. I spend an inordinate amount of time reading, writing and researching, before approaching the canvas. When a particular concept intrigues me, generally I will be influenced by reading an essay or article, rather than observing art. My artwork navigates between stereotypes and representation. It magnifies the subtlety of racial constructs and how viewers have become comfortable with derogatory images. My work seeks to examine how black culture is codified and commodified”, she says. Born in America but of Haitian descent, she looks at the history of the black female body and how history has dictated and limited its agency. Visit Facebook for more.
Stop 5: The New Modernist | 142 Buitengracht Street
If you love mid-century design then pop into the New Modernist, the design shop that puts a new spin on second hand shopping. All items on display have been beautifully refurbished and curated in a pristine gallery-style setting. Click here for more.
Other things to see and do this week
Tuesday 3 May
Musings at The EYE
A conglomeration of daydreams, subconscious and eccentric thoughts are the origins of David Griessel’s second solo exhibition. “None of the creatures, characters and places presented here exists or has any practical value: These pictures simply flow from my subconscious mind and in the process of imaginative creation, miraculously (at least for me) gain life”, he says. Click here for more.
44a Bloem St // 7pm
Wednesday 4 May
The Future of Public Space
Urbanisation presents promise but also brings many obstacles. Presented by Future Cape Town and the Urban Design Institute of South Africa, this lecture explores future challenges of growing cities and contemplates the role activism has in shaping our public spaces to create systemic change. Topics such as artificial intelligence, space travel and the nature of public vs private ownership are being discussed. Visit Facebook for more.
71 Hout St // 7pm
Friday 6 May
Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016
This year, the winner of the Up & Coming Underwater Photographer is South African, Pier Mane. Head to the Chavonnes Battery Museum to see a selection of 41 images from all over the globe that capture interesting perspectives and unusual insights about our underwater word. Click here for more.
Clock Tower Precinct, V&A Waterfront // 9am-4pm
Saturday 7 May
Spier Poetry Festival: Dancing in Other Words
If you like reading, debating, travelling and poetry then spend the day at Spier Wine Farm listening to the wise words of local and international poets. There’s morning and afternoon panel discussions, poetry readings, dinner, lunch, drinks and dancing. Visit here for more info.
R310 Lynedoch Rd, 7600 Stellenbosch // 10am
Monday 9 May
The Matrix at The Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema
Feeling a nostalgic for the 90s? Throwback to the when the Keenu Reeves was still featured as a handsome bloke in the gossip sections of cheap magazines and starred in The Matrix. If you’re in the mood for some film fun, go to the Grand Daddy Hotel and watch this cult classic. To book, click here.