Last Thursday P and I had the privilege of attending the opening of the new Wits Art Museum in Braamfontein. It’s exciting to finally have a proper art museum in Joburg! The first exhibit is called ‘WAM! Seeing Stars’ and is filled with works ranging from bronze statues by Sydney Kumalo, to charcoal drawings by William Kentridge to wooden masks from Nigeria and beadwork from the Eastern Cape.
It’s housed in what was a former petrol station and re-designed by Nina Cohen, Fiona Garson and William Martinson into the current modern beauty, with a lovely view of the Nelson Mandela Bridge. My favorite pieces were a photo of the inside of the Ponte City building and a charcoal piece by William Kentridge that is the left pane of a tryptich. It features a the Businessman from his animations, and on the bottom is noted “London is a suburb of Johannesburg.’ Ha! Indeed.
Scroll your mouse over the picture to get the address and opening hours of WAM, which opens to the public on May 19th.
**For my WAM image I layered three pictures I took of the opening to get a multiple exposure effect, and used the gradient tool to get the pink ombre, as well as the Super Braggadacio font to create a clipping mask in Photoshop, and some html/css code to create the image rollover. The entire(ly tiny) scope of my Photoshop knowledge is entirely because of the lovely blog Pugly Pixel, and how to do all of these things can be found on her generous and helpful blog.
I was on the hunt for an inexpensive, small tan leather bag to lug around this town. I found it at Second Attitude Vintage in Parkhurst. Well okay, I found it at their Sunday Stall at Arts on Main. Owned by an adorable Parisienne named Lolo and her Xhosa husband named Quiet. Their store has been open a year already. Makes me feel like I should get my act together.
Anyway, I got me a new bag that fits my beloved iPad plus essentials and is omgadorbs for 900 rands. Yay!
Glasses: The mememe in Cape Town
Shirt: Zara, a million years ago
Jeans: Joe’s Jeans
Oxfords: somewhere in Berlin, lost to memory
As we head towards winter I’m glad that my friend Sazi introduced me to another adorable and yummy food spot in Jozi to keep me Warm & Glad (har har) when my drafty house is not. It is a combination of a coffee shop, specialty grocery store, cafe and art gallery. Currently on display are colorful screen prints that had me thinking about dropping some rands, they serve fresh juices (apple-carrot-ginger!) and their hot chocolate is a cup of steaming milk with pieces of milk chocolate to mix in on the side. Adorbs. A small but delicious menu with plenty of variety, and…free wifi! Try it, you’ll like it.
357 Jan Smuts Avenue
Corner St Alban’s Road
Park in St Alban’s Road
Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 4.30pm
Saturdays: 8.30am to 12.30pm
It took me a while to start visiting the Jozi art galleries- in Berlin galleries are everywhere, in your face, it is a city replete with galleries and artists (as well as over-saturated with “artists”). When Nick and Rachel came we checked out a few (The Goodman Gallery and the David Kruts Project Gallery on Jan Smuts) at Rachel’s insistence. I’m glad we did because I haven’t been able to stop. They noticed us eyeing a piece by Ryan Arenson (instagrammed poorly above) and to start our South African art collection they bought it for us as a wedding present, leaving it behind when they left as a surprise. It was so thoughtful I almost teared up. Last week Nico and I toured the galleries twice last week in the Maboneng Precinct. The David Kruts Print Workshop there is showing linocuts by William Kentridge which are lovely. Check out this preview of his hour long animated film about Johannesburg called “Anything Is Possible.” You can watch the whole things for free on PBS if you live in the States.
This weekend we had a delicious dinner at a bumping shebeen called 707 Panyaza in Orlando West, Soweto. We gorged on the buy and braai, achaar (which was more of a [delicious!] salad), pap, and the awesome music . We enjoyed a brew and danced in our chairs (it hadn’t quite turned into a dance party so I had to satisfy myself with remaining in my chair) and received a couple amused looks by the regulars. 707 is going to become a regular stop on our Jozi tour for our future guests and I can’t WAIT to go back and do more than just chair-dance to the music. Nico and Elisabeth also agreed that it was the highlight of our weekend. Much thanks to Steffen and Sibo for the tip.
707 Panyaza is located at:
White City Jabavu, Soweto
1736 Tumahole Street
Punching that into your gps will get you within a kilometer and then just ask around. Enjoy! xx
Another set of lovely friends visiting (Nick and Rachel), another safari in Kruger (my life is very hard, I know). This time in the category of Things I’ve Never Seen Before: a whole group of young male lions (I don’t think it’s proper to call them a pride when they’re just a wandering group of brothers who aren’t fully grown) and a group of hyenas ripping apart a left over animal corpse (look carefully, you can see them). As the lions paced around our vehicle, staring at the humans inside I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures when they were directly next to me. The female scared me far more than the males, I felt as though she knew exactly how easy it would be to jump inside and tear me to shreds (ok so maybe I was a bit nervous since I’ve never been directly available to so many wide awake apex predators). I was too nervous and excited to operate the camera properly and had to put it on automatic mode.
We stayed in a lovely cottage overlooking a river in and in the morning we watched a hippo splash around for her morning bath from our porch. I’m not sure how many times I’ve been on safari now, but every single time I feel like I’m a five year old discovering how planes fly or where rain comes from. Normally I pay almost exclusive attention to the big game, but thanks to Nick’s enthusiasm (during his high school years he taught ornithology at a local nature center) I became interested in the birds. Above you can see the technicolor European Bee Eater perched cheerfully on a tree. Following his lead I purchased an animal guide to Kruger and surrounding areas and we worked hard at checking off every animal, bird and reptile that we could, and before I leave this continent I am determined to check off every single one.