Art, Music and Gardens – discovering something different in Franschhoek this October
With the changing of the seasons the warmer weather is a welcome relief. Perfect for exploring one of South Africa’s premier lifestyle destinations, namely the Franschhoek Wine Valley. Home to award-winning wines, internationally acclaimed restaurants, exquisite art as well as an array of cultural and outdoor offerings. This October make the most of your visit as it coincides with Art Franschhoek, Franschhoek Open Gardens and the Classic Music Festival.
Over the past 10 years research has shown that Franschhoek attracts many high-end visitors to the Cape, many of whom include art loving tourists. This has allowed the industry to adapt locally with a number of serious galleries in Franschhoek, such as EBONY/CURATED and Everard Read, to showcase world-class exhibitions on a regular basis. Ultimately this led to the establishment of Art Franschhoek. In recent years art has become relevant and sought-after, and as such so has the art attraction in Franschhoek, which is home to 16 galleries. The demand for fine art has in turn lifted Franschhoek’s aspirational presence so much more. Furthermore, Art Franschhoek helps to highlight the diversity of the galleries in and around Franschhoek, offering both the connoisseur as well as the amateur exquisite artworks to view in a non-sterile space.
From 25 to 27 October visitors to Franschhoek will be treated to a weekend of art appreciation as galleries ‘open their doors’ for the 4th annual Art Franschhoek. The weekend is dedicated to showcasing some of their spectacular works of arts and exhibitions.
Andrea Desmond-Smith is described as a mytho-poetic artist who combines elements of myth and fantasy with a deeply felt concern with the destruction of our planet. The themes that permeate her work are metamorphosis, resurrection and the four elements of Western alchemy: water, earth, fire and air. Her work is in public and private collections in South Africa and in Europe. View her exquisite works at the Blue Lion Gallery At Artemis
Art in The Yard was born from a number of serendipitous moments and meetings of artists and space. The objective of the gallery is to give focus to contemporary artists with fresh ideas, whilst still holding true to skilled craftsmanship. Art is selected from upcoming, and established, local, and international artists.
Following the success of their Johannesburg and Cape Town galleries, renowned artist Abe Opperman has opened his third space in the heart of Franschhoek at 11 Huguenot street. The latest gallery provides art enthusiasts with an alternative cultural context as well as showcasing more of Abe Opperman’s original works.
EBONY/CURATED Bordeaux House is one of three gallery spaces in Franschhoek and Cape Town, which showcases classic and contemporary fine art combined with exclusive, local design. EBONY collaborates with some of the finest creators in Africa to create dynamic and engaging spaces. Exclusive design stands alongside classic and contemporary fine art in their two Franschhoek galleries; the resulting atmosphere is one that simultaneously exudes energy and elegance. Sourcing both classic and contemporary South African and African works by some of the most recognised and collectable artists, their fine art collection is both engaging and vibrant. Often collaborating with other pre-eminent galleries, EBONY/CURATED is continually on the lookout for new and exciting talent from across the continent.
Everard Read Franschhoek is in partnership with the Leeu Collection and is part of the Everard Read group who, founded in 1913, are the oldest dealers in South Africa with other galleries in Johannesburg, Cape Town and London. The custom designed space is in a heritage building next to Le Quartier Français and shares a beautiful sculpture garden with the kitchen garden of La Petit Colombe restaurant, situated next door. The gallery shows the finest of South Africa’s contemporary artists in a variety of media and the knowledgeable staff are happy to arrange a tour of Leeu Collection’s incomparable sculpture gardens and the art in its public spaces.
Sharing a passion for the preservation of art and culture best describes the historic La Motte Museum, which not only offers displays depicting aspects of the Rupert family, but also features the history of La Motte and its magnificently renovated buildings, with a brief review of Cape Dutch architecture. The museum is the permanent host to the heritage collection of Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, as well as a the venue for other rotating exhibitions.
The Gallery at Grande Provence, showcases works by leading and emerging South African artists, which includes an extensive selection of artworks. These range from paintings, drawings, original prints, sculpture, ceramics to photography and traditional beadwork, which are available to view at the estate’s world-renown gallery.
This is a mere glimpse of what you can expect to find at this year’s Art Franschhoek. A detailed programme is available on the official website, www.franschhoekart.co.za.
What makes this annual event so unique is that you can choose to leisurely browse the galleries situated along the village’s main road, and within comfortable walking distance from each other. Alternatively choose to view the artworks on display at some of the wine farms and turn your art appreciation weekend into one that combines with food and wine.
A highlight of this year’s weekend will be an exhibition entitled ‘Masterpieces from Franschhoek Private Collections’. A unique once off display of exquisite artworks on loan from private owners for this weekend. These include never before seen works by the likes of William Kentridge, Alexis Preller, Dumile Feni, Robert Hodgins, Maud Sumner, to name but a few. Viewings of these rare gems will be on view to the public at EBONY/CURATED’s Bordeaux House Gallery. Further details on this unique exhibition are available on the website.
Not only will visitors be treated to exquisite artworks during this weekend, but with Franschhoek being in full bloom during this time, the valley’s gardens are also spectacular sights to behold. Garden fanatics and nature lovers will be able to view some of the valley’s breath-taking gardens at the annual Franschhoek Open Gardens Festival. Gardens range from small village gardens to beautiful large farm gardens. This year there are 10 gardens on show. Added attractions include the ‘Garden in a Pot’ competition as well as teas and wine tastings at some of the participating gardens. Tickets cost R200 per person to view all of the gardens on show and are valid for the entire weekend, and can be purchased from La Motte Wine Estate or the NG Church Hall in Franschhoek.
What promises to be a weekend of cultural highlights, the Classic Music Festival over the same dates, will feature three concerts in the NG Church. Starting the line-up is music by Mozart and Debussy for four hands at one piano with Mark Nixon and Christopher Duigan on 25 October. The recently formed Prins Trio of Annien Shaw (violin) David Pinoit (cello) with Megan-Geoffrey Prins (piano) will treat you to Ravel’s dazzling Trio and Beethoven’s Ghost Trio on Saturday, 26 October. Concluding the musical celebration on Sunday, 27 October will be Junnan Sun (clarinet) who is joined by Christopher Duigan (piano) in a re-imagined version of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto K. 622. Tickets for the three NG Church concerts are R150 each and can be booked online at via www.webtickets.co.za.
For more information contact the tourism office on firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 876 2861.