News and Trends

Woodstock Mapped

While Woodstock is one of the oldest residential and business suburbs in the Western Cape, the area is still largely unknown, save for the trendy creative hubs, restaurants and boutiques that are slowly gentrifying the area. Dissatisfied with what guidebooks had to say about this historically rich and culturally diverse neighbourhood, artist and resident Mark Hilltout has set out to map Woodstock's two main arteries through a series of illustrations. The detailed drawings will include every building, shop, office and residential facia along both sides of the suburb's two main roads. Covering an impressive 18 kilometres, the final illustrated map will be the first comprehensive guide to the businesses, design hubs, art galleries, places of worship and restaurants in the area. 'There is so much potential that has yet to be recognised, and although it is happening slowly there is a distinct air of optimism,' says Hilltout. 'Besides being a fascinating melange of old and new, the nature of emerging artistic and craft oriented businesses are significant in light of Cape Town being 2014 World Design Capital.' The personal project has been an ambitious one. In addition to weeks of solid drawing, the project has required extensive research into the history and architecture of Woodstock. Spanning Sir Lowry Road from the bridge on the outskirts of the city; Victoria and Main roads to Trill Road in Observatory; and Newmarket Street from Baron Street, Albert and Lower Main Road to just past Trill Road – the finished drawings will measure an incredible 20 metres. 'A map of the area will be much appreciated by the residents of Woodstock, Salt River and Observatory, as well as people who run businesses here, and visitors from Cape Town, South Africa and further afield,' says Hilltout. 'I have many funny stories, and some sad ones. People of all walks of life are quite fascinated and positive toward the project, and many shop keepers have asked me for a drawing of their shop fronts,' says Hilltout. While the map will be condensed into a more practical and manageable form, available from various locations in Woodstock, those interested in viewing the original drawings will be able to do so at the upcoming exhibition, The Faces of Woodstock, Salt River & Observatory, at The Alex Hamilton Studio Gallery. The exhibition opens 31 January, 2013, and runs until 25 February, 2013, at The Alex Hamilton Studio Gallery, 3rd Floor, 9 Barron Street, Woodstock. For more information call 021-447-2396.