SUGAR COATED MOUNTAINS & HOT BUTTERED MIELIES

KOEKALOOKS

My friend photographer Deborah da Silva went on a road trip to Lesotho last week and came home with these shots. This is a mere sprinkling. I can see the freedom fest that she had all on her own, burning it in a little Picanto on top of a high mountain planted with mielies and dotted with chickens and skinny goats. A bit like Thelma, without Louise.

These are part of a wider photographic collection (all by Deborah) soon to be installed in a famous name boutique hotel. I love what the cross processing did to the colours. They remind me of chocolate vermicelli and 100’s of 1000’s. Candyfloss, Fizz Pops and vanilla butter icing.

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LIKE A TASTE OF THIS LOVELY SOAP?

Prunella Soap – source: Miss Moss

Miss Moss found this, not me. But I had to repost it – thanks Miss – because, to quote Miss Moss, the packaging and photography is so darn cute I almost can’t stand it. 

I’d second that. It’s edibly cute.

How can soap be edible?

Easily. I ate soap when I was 3 years old, about. Not because I wanted to, but I was the youngest of a large kangaroo court of siblings, and therin lies the rub. Oh, it’s complicated. But I still love soap. And I love my siblings too. Really I do.

The soap is by Prunella an organic (and vegan) soap line by Janell Anderson out of Portland, Oregan. Click the link to read more.

Soap Bar is from the MIdas Envirolite range of colours. Envirolite is a Zero VOC range of eco paints, from Paint & Place stores in South Africa.

Did your siblings make you eat paint too?

No. Mercifully, they didn’t. But they did tie me to a gumpole and pelted me with mud then turned the garden hose on me. Our mother found us (my screams led her to the crime scene) and gave us all a walloping. Me too.

FORTUNE FAVOURS THE HELVETICA BOLD

Designed by Ian Mason

We’re going big on taking it easy today.

Leg of lamb in the oven, four bars of chocolate on top of the fridge. Glen Grant single malt and a bucket of ice. Pile of Sunday papers to choose from. Cool DVD’s to pick from.

It’s Fathers Day. The poster above makes me smile. Designed by a dad who I know rather well.

NO WORRIES: one of 300 colours by Midas Envirolite Zero VOC paint

I

DREAMY

Lars Lindqvist – finalist, World Press Photo Contest 2012

It looks a plan Steven Spielberg could have hatched, all in a day’s work. Only it’s not. These are boats on the pier at Ishinomaki port, in Miyagi, after the tsunami in Japan. I’m mesmerised by the look on this woman’s face. See that?

See the bigger picture on http://www.worldpressphoto.org/photo/2012-lars-lindqvist-gn-2?gallery=2634

Lars Lindqvist is a staff photographer for the daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, in Stockholm. This is his second World Press Photo Contest award.

From the Midas Envirolite palette of 300 colours – all available in Zero VOC paint

THE ART OF MAUREEN VISAGÉ

Ceramic sculpture by Maureen Visage

“You’re so good with your hands,” my granny used to say. “Little fashion plate,” was another term of endearment that she often used. When I was very small, I made things to wear. I crocheted cardigans and ponchos and ran up my own skirts and tops and mittens. I drooled over Vogue before I could even spell the word.

Unspoken: “She’s a bit arty. She cannot surely rock at Maths.”

This was kinda true. I was okay at Maths. But I sweated somewhat to get the marks that some of my more algebraically-minded cousins got without so much as opening a book.

That was the thing. I could do these arty things, write stories and poems and make nice. I liked it that way.

Now I’d like to draw your attention to the artist Maureen Visagé.

. Maureen’s experience as a kid was probably slightly different to mine.

Maureen’s work is beautiful. Her recent swimmer series is pure enchantment. And it’s selling up a storm, here there and galleries everywhere. The other day an English boutique hotel by the seaside ordered a truckload. One for every room.

I met Maureen over dinner last week and discovered she’s been doing this for about eight or nine years, but has only recently begun to ramp up her output to a full-time level. She’s pleased with the response to her work, but that’s not the reason she’s doing this thing. It’s not a money thing. The reason she’s doing it is because she can. Because, like they say, talent will out. I think demand for her beautiful sculptures will go ballistic once the state secret escapes from the vault.

Maureen works alsongside Gemma Orkin in the studio of the late Barbara Jackson. It’s creatively super-charged in that studio, I bet.

Now here’s a thing.

Maureen’s day job wasn’t always art. Before the swimmer series and the bird bowls (in the slideshow below) she did something entirely different.

She was a fashion designer?

No.

She was a graphic designer?

No.

She was a soux chef  or an aromatherapist or a truck driver?

Hell no.

She was a novelist?

No

A stylist? 

Please.

She was an actuary? 

Yes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More recent work by Maureen Visagé.

Please vist Maureen’s blog to see more of her work. Maureen.Visage@blogspot.com

YOUR TABLE IS READY

This is the work of Cape Town artist Caryn Scrimgeour. A mixed marmalade of things old and new, ordinary and beautiful, in table settings that beseech you to pull up a chair and pour yourself ‘n glasie wyn.

Caryn’s exhibition, titled ‘Conundrum’, will be opening at Everard Read in Joburg on 9 Feb 2012.

Everard Read describes her work as “subject matter chosen from commonplace objects that surround her; objects
that are fragile and precious are juxtaposed with ordinary mundane items, which in turn are elevated to the same level of importance. Delicate chinaware, glassware and insects are combined with common trinkets and knick-knacks and portrayed against a backdrop of richly patterned fabric in a way that is reminiscent of 17th century Dutch still life painting.”

GREY BOY

Last week, I saw children filing out of school in Cape Town wearing blazers, ties, long pants and hats. (Hats are not a bad idea in hot sun, especially if they have a wide brim.)  I pinched myself. Checked my phone. It was 37 degrees C.

Do they still wear hats like the ones above?  In 2012? Completely. On big days, this charming accessory, borrowed from the Edwardian rowing party, is paired with the wool blazer below. If you like your tradition wrapped up with yards of Petersham ribbon around your neck and straw on your head, then this uniform gets a big tick.

I know someone who looks as cute as a whole bag of buttons in it. He had all his school clothes and books (already covered) piled up on his bed for an inventory check on the 19th of December. That’s how much he loves his school and the toppings that go with it.

That’s the spirit, B-man. Stay proud – and hang onto your basher when the wind comes.

'Grey Boy' - from the Earthcote Heritage Collection - inspired by South African people, places, landmarks and traditions.

CALL OF THE GARDEN ROUTE

'Monkey Ropes' is one of 70 colours from the Earthcote Heritage Collection: environmentally friendly paint inspired by South African dorps, landscapes and cultural icons.

'A gift from a garden, passon' - oil on gesso panel, by Arabella Caccia

Will your steering wheel force you to make a turn along the Garden Route, these holidays? Don’t take that same old toll road to Knysna. Take the old Bloukrans pass, follow the twists through the shady, wet tangle of jungle, where the river water is like cold, black coffee, and the monkey ropes dangle, suspended, waiting for Tarzan.

'A gift from a garden, fertility' - oil on gesso panel - by Arabella Caccia
‘A gift from a garden: fertility’ – oil on gesso panel by Arabella Caccia

Find a canoe and picnic under the trees with the frogs and the crabs on the banks of Jubliee Creek in Knysna. In Plett, go stand in front of some cool, peaceful, eye soothing paintings by Cape Town artists Arabella Caccia and Cathy Abraham.  Their dual exhibition, ‘Essence’, is happening at Chandler House gallery, 20 – 29 December, 6 Crescent Street, Plett.

BRA HUGH IS KING

Rolling Stone launched its SA edition last week

Rolling Stone is in South Africa. It arrived, without a big noise, last week.

And I don’t mean the one off the boat, but our very own makoya home brewed version that has at least 50% local content.

They got Hugh Masekela to blow a few notes at the launch party and appear on the cover of Edition 1. What other face would suffice? No other. Bra Hugh is the official boss of tune in South Africa.

In the cover story he is quoted as saying: “I’m lucky to be sitting here and talking to you about it. The saddest thing that happened to South Africa is that it was illegal for Africans to drink liquor in this country until 1961. So drinking became not only a form of resistance, but also a form of defiance.”

I love the pithiness, the activism and the political grit. This is not some lame-assed picture book, or celeb gossip toilet paper to catch the dust on your cistern, or a coaster on your coffee table. It’s a magazine title that’ll neither burn out nor fade away.

And see here. This layout. This is like the Bra Hugh of editorial design. In my next life, I want to work there. Rolling Stone. I love you to the moon and back.

'Bra Hugh' - from the Earthcote Heritage Collection - the Earthcote philosophy in seventy colours inspired by iconic South African people and places. Available in Zero VOC environmentally friendly matt paint at Paint&Place stores..

 

WHAT GOES POP AT INSTANT GRASS

I stuck my head into Cape Town agency Instant Grass over the weekend to see some of the w.i.p. that I scribbled a post on last week. [Instant Grass Revamp] Jaco Janse van Rensburg, designer in command of the new look, was busy experimenting with Earthcote patinas in bronze, copper, pewter and granite on some of the built-in office cupboards. These will key with Paul Smith vertical striped curtains in close proximity. You’ll get the picture soon – just as soon as I can snap and send. Coming up. The curtains are still with the curtain makers, but bits of happy hipness have started to trickle in, and it’s looking hot. The dominant wall colour is Licorice by Midas, against which bright elements leap out at you with pops and pings. Black is the bass guitar of colours. It allows other colours to play so nicely. Even the red electrical cover plate looks like it owns that wall. Jaco and I had a chat about the effect of black, and how it redeems aesthetic crimes like electrical wiring, conduit covers and the ghosts of past inhabitants. We’re knocked out by how black does a ‘white-out’ of such stuff. When using black in a big and peculiarly angled interior such as this one, it’s a nice idea to use different textures on different surfaces – but all in the same depth of intensity and tone. The light plays differently on each surface, giving the place much more interesting dimension and a softness that’s completely unexpected, for black. Have a look at the walls above. These are all painted in the same tone of black. Jaco used blackboard paint, Earthcote Windswept and Midas Envirolite Zero VOC acrylic. Yet in certain shots the colour seems more taupe than black. I’m looking forward to seeing the angle poise lamps looking poised in situ, and the Mary Poppins umbrellas flying high. I’ll send more soon.