An event-packed weekend coming up
As I wrote in my last blog, the upcoming week-end looks to be a very busy one, with several great events on offer. To quote Chris Thurman (Business Day 19th May): “Joburgers clear your calendars”.
With the decline of inner city Joburg over the last decade plus, many unused buildings have been converted by artists into affordable communal studio spaces. One such collective founded in 2006 and now comprising about 40 artists, is based at August House at 76 End Street in Doornfontein.
Enter Sara Hallatt the founder and director of the META Foundation, (a non-profit visual arts company based at August House. Sara is the driver of OpenStudios.Joburg, a weekend of opening several inner-city studios to the public, for people to meet the artists, see their artwork and hopefully start or augment their art collection. 2023’s Open Studios takes place on 27th and 28th May.
Saturday 27 May from 10:30am to 4pm
- Bag Factory, Newtown
- Lilian Road Studios, Fordsburg
- Play Braamfontein
- Rand Club& Bridge Books, Joburg CBD
- Creative Uprising Hub, Transwerke Building Constitution Hill
Sunday 28 May from 10:30am to 4pm
- Asisebenze, Joburg CBD
- August House, Doornfontein
- Ellis House, Troyeville There will be big changes since I last visited.
- Living Artists Emporium, Bertrams
- Victoria Yards, Lorentzville A long time since I have been here too.
Preview of Open Studios: Lilian Road Studios
I was fortunate to be invited to the media launch of Open Studios. Having met at Play Braamfontein, we were driven in 2 shuttle buses to 2 inner city studios with our first stop at Lilian Road Studios in Fordsburg. Here we were met by the multi-talented and committed Gordon Froud: artist, educator, curator, mentor, art judge, collaborator and just generally a wonderful mensch.
And on to Asisebenze Studio (aka Asisebenze Art Atelier) in Plein Street to meet Mbali Tshabalala
Another site of contradictions and contrasts: by the light of ever-faithful cell phone torches, we navigated the several floors of stairs in the pitch dark of load-shedding arriving to an airy studio space with Tshabalala’s large-scale works on the wall and prints laid out on tables. The balcony offered a birds-eye view of the hustle and bustle of rush-hour traffic in Plein Street below, while sipping cocktails. And all this amidst photos and selfies of the influencers (for another blog).
Return to Play Braamfontein
Thank you Johannesburg In Your Pocket, Open Studios and Nando’s for a thought-provoking and immersive afternoon of paradoxes, incongruities and Jozi’s ongoing kaleidoscope of clashing realities. Wonderful opportunity to meet artists, hear about their work and see their studio space. Really looking forward to more visits over the weekend. And a special shout out for a fabulous goodie pack with great books, notebooks, Nando’s spices, cards and more!!