Exploring the Cape through its art
Travel Concepts, which forms part of The Concepts Collection, is a leader in handcrafting luxurious event, wedding and travel experiences across Southern Africa. 'Cape Town has it all in terms of scenic beauty and, as we like to describe it, natural art at its finest. However, look past the obvious scenic splendour and you will find a hugely creative city with a burgeoning and inspiring art scene in many other forms,' says founder Richard Holt. Here, Travel Concepts shares its top artistic picks in the Mother City.
Contemporary art: The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
There are few superlatives that describe this new architectural masterpiece, which is a piece of contemporary art in its own right. Whether you have an interest in art or not, walking into the atrium and dramatic honeycombed interior will leave you spellbound. The Zeitz MOCAA is also what modern African artists have been waiting for – their very own Tate Modern or MoMA – to use as a platform on which to tell their stories. Located in the former forsaken grain silos at the V&A Waterfront, this marvel of a museum houses 100 galleries spread over nine floors, featuring 21st-century work from artists across the continent. The 360-degree views of Cape Town from the ninth-floor rooftop sculpture garden only adds to the artistic splendour.
Emerging art: township art experiences
Winner of global public art and tourism awards, this community initiative is based on the belief that townships are the epicentre of art around the world. The Maboneng Township Arts Experience turns local homes into personal galleries and outdoor spaces into vibrant performance districts. Started by Siphiwe Ngwenya, artist and Alexandra, Johannesburg, township local, this inspired project aims to change local perceptions of art as an activity of only the elite upper class by training local artists, empowering youth and creating jobs through art. The regular escorted tours curate an artistic journey into the homes of loving Langa and Gugulethu families in Cape Town and make the experience unforgettable.
Food as art: La Colombe
Art stretches far beyond paintbrush to canvas at La Colombe restaurant in Constantia– and this is where head chef Scot Kirton’s flair for innovation is delivered through his detail-driven passion right onto your dinner plate. Scot’s exquisite plating skills are a precise art: balanced and perfectly harmonious. His team’s faultless techniques are awe-inspiring to say the least, and this is why we think a visit to La Colombe needs to be on your Cape Town art itinerary! It was recently voted as the seventh Best Restaurant in the World by TripAdvisor, and our advice is to go and taste for yourself. A wise word of warning, however – book as soon as possible.
Street art: Salt River Art Tour
One of the oldest areas in the Mother City has undergone a vibrant makeover to become an exciting suburb representative of the cultural diversity in the neighbourhood. Salt River was recently host to the first International Public Art Festival in early 2017, welcoming more than 40 local and international street artists to manifest their imaginations on buildings in the area. The festival stimulated the beginning of a new art experience through which visitors are led on tours of the artistry by local residents with a wealth of knowledge on both the history of Salt River and the new murals.
Art in the city: First Thursdays
On First Thursdays, the streets of Cape Town’s CBD come alive with pedestrians, from trendy hipsters and young professionals to active retirees, families with dogs in tow and foreign visitors – all looking for a fun night out. The concept is simple and hugely successful: on the first Thursday of every month, inner-city art galleries and local boutiques as well as other cultural attractions in Cape Town stay open till late to encourage visitors to explore the city and all its offerings on foot.
The art of design: GUILD Gallery
Situated in the new trendy Silo district of Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, the owners of Southern Guild have spearheaded the high-end design category in Africa over the past 10 years, putting Africa on the world stage and propelling local artist-designers to make spirited, challenging and complex work. We think the newly opened GUILD Gallery is a wonderful celebration of world-class Africa, showcasing the very best of aspiring African artists and local limited editions.
Sculptural art: Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
Hidden away on magnificent mountain slopes outside Stellenbosch, this expansive garden is home to hidden paths and a plethora of lush indigenous plants, but most importantly, it houses more than 60 pieces by world-renowned sculptural artist and South African native, Dylan Lewis. The garden is home to multiple species of fynbos, creating a link between nature and art that is evident through the many sounds and scents in this venture that has been more than eight years in the making.
Wine and art: our suggested artistic wine tour
The scenic splendour of the Cape Winelands serves as the artistic backdrop to a number of beautifully manicured wine estates that are becoming art galleries in their own right. Among the plethora of designer wine farms, we recommend sampling award-winning vintages, and strolling through sculpture gardens at Tokara or Leeu Estates, or marvelling at the paintings and design at Delaire Graff and the gallery collections and designer restaurant at Cavalli in Somerset West, or the art gallery and spectacular interior design at the owner’s cottage at Grande Provence in Franschhoek.