FEVER at Boschendal | Add this Cape Winelands experience to your weekend plans

Surrounded by majestic mountains, nestled in the magnificent and picturesque beauty of the Franschhoek valley, is the iconic wine farm, Boschendal. This is one of the oldest Wine Estates in South Africa’s fine wine region, and there are plenty of new and exciting things happening on the farm!

Classically recognised for its wine, food and outdoor activities, the wine estate now also offers a noteworthy dose of art and culture. The Boschendal estate is crowned by the original Cape Dutch centuries-old Manor House, which was established in 1812. Recently, reinvented into an art-filled gallery-museum, the historic Manor house aims to support local artists, whilst simultaneously making art more accessible. This balance could not have been established without the concurrent aid of Norval Foundation. Since the partnership between Boschendal and Norval Foundation, the historic Manor House has seen satellite-focused exhibitions take centre stage on its premises – catering for rotating exhibitions, every three to four months.

In a personal statement from Norval Foundation’s Development Partner, Elana Brundyn, she shares, ‘When it comes to assessing the transformation of museums in 2022, purposeful partnerships will be key. I think the Norval x Boschendal partnership is a brilliant example of such a collaboration, which looks at connecting more deeply with local communities and using art education, based on dialogue. Future events and exhibitions will be planned with this in mind.’

Boschendal x Norval Foundation Gallery welcomes visitors to an exciting year’s exhibition programme, where a collection of contemporary artworks spark a nuanced dialogue between past and present. The focus is on artists from across Africa, affixed to a strong Southern African representation. And here is one of our highlights, all art-lovers and art-enthusiasts should hope to see this year.

Fever, with no understatement by its title, is an exhibition presented by Art Gazette, in partnership with Boschendal and Norval Foundation. The mid-summer group show dreams about summer, and showcases work by 13 South African artists from Art Gazette’s widening art collection. Hosted in Boschendal’s historic Manor House, this show is placed next door to satellite-focused exhibitions by Norval Foundation.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fictional piece, that prepends and elevates the exhibition.
Excerpt from the full text, written by Chloë Reid:
‘’You think about the moment where your body submits and moves beyond the discomfort and
indignity of the temperature’s effects, where you swelter, as a collective, with everyone around
you. The sky refuses to surrender to night and when it does, it holds fast to the heat that lingers,
long after dark.’’

We sat down to interview the exhibition’s curator, Morné Visagie:

1.) What is FEVER?

‘Fever is a group exhibition, curated by myself and Art Gazette, that dreams of summer. The exhibition is hosted at Norval Foundation and Boschendal’s museum-commercial-gallery space at the Boschendal farm in the historic Manor House.’

2.) Walk us through the selection process of the works

‘We have a huge inventory of artworks that we own. I was really looking for works that would stand out, and that had that “fever” feeling about them. A sense of hot summer days, sweaty bodies, romance, intimacy, delirium, beach parties came to mind… I then considered overall, how does it all work together? I found narratives that might link and start conversations between certain works. Colour, and how colour engages with subject matter and narrative, was an important factor that helped to shape the final curation of the exhibition. There are a couple of moments in the show that I absolutely love. One of them is an unexpected pairing between two artists, Sanell Aggenbach and Micha Serraf. Sanell Aggenbach’s ‘Ikebana Magenta’, depicts a red image of a vintage ikebana arrangement, with threads woven into the work, cascading down to the floor. Micha Serraf’s photograph ‘Gloves Up’, shows a dancer who is still getting dressed. The idea of a veil or drawn curtain comes to mind.’

3.) What do you hope for visitors to experience through this exhibition, whilst learning more about the partnership with Boschendal and Norval Foundation?

‘This is a gallery out in the Winelands, which gets a very specific clientele. You know, it is not a gallery in Cape Town or Johannesburg, where you go to see contemporary art from the continent or from the rest of the world. Here, you are going to a farm to have a glass of wine or have a meal. Somewhere across the line, you might stumble upon the gallery space. So for me, I really hope people can appreciate contemporary work in this setting and also appreciate the fact that most of these artists who are being shown in this Historic Manor House, would not have been seen in a space like this because of the historical context.’

4.) What is Art Gazette, its main goals and focus?

‘We function as a commercial business. Martin Epstein and I co-founded Art Gazette. Martin has been a collector and supporter of the arts for a very, very long time. He has got an extensive collection of artworks. He has always enjoyed supporting emerging young artists from around the world, not just South Africa. This carries through in what we decided to do with Art Gazette. We thought about how we could focus to support more artists who are not just gallery-based. While gaining a larger reach, we also focused on how to make this both a business and a support structure. We focus on selecting and building collections of artworks for hotels, corporates, banks etc. Our goal is, firstly, is to sustain and support artists’ practises, and secondly, it is to educate. Through this initiative, we intent to inform the leisure and corporate industry on contemporary artwork, as to encourage more support into the arts and culture ecosystem of their countries. With Art Gazette, you can directly support artists and own original art. This makes sure that artwork can be seen in all spaces.’

Find more exhibition infomation below:

Time Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost Free
Contact 021 870 4200
Address Boschendal, R310 (Helshoogte Road), Pniel, Franschhoek

Between 10 and 5