On Thursday evening 800 art lovers descended onto The Lookout in the V&A Waterfront for the opening of the first ever Cape Town Art Fair, the largest mega art exhibition ever held in Cape Town under one roof, with 40 galleries exhibiting 800 works of arts of 130 top artists. It was an excellent platform to enjoy the art of food, of visual art, and of wine art!
In a clever display design, the art galleries were given one, two, or three panels to display their artists’ work. While most pieces were described, I did not see prices, giving the exhibition a classy feel. It was more about meeting the gallery owners and representatives and connecting with them, based on the style of art they were exhibiting. Some of the galleries, auctioneers, and artists at the Cape Town Art Fair include Strijdom van der Merwe, with an exhibit at the entrance to The Lookout and having recently created an impressive exhibit in honour of Nelson Mandela outside the Stellenbosch Town Hall; Strauss & Co; The AVA Gallery; holden manz collection; Whatiftheworld Gallery; Frank Joubert Art Centre; Stephan Welz & Co; Erdmann Contemporary; the University of Stellenbosch; quirky Luvey ‘n Rose selling art as well as antiques in the Bo Kaap, with good coffee and rusks too; Commune.1; BRUNDYN +; EBONY; Salon91; blank projects; João Ferreira; Deon Viljoen, POST, Barnard Gallery; smac; The Bronze Age Gallery; Artist Proof Studio; The Christopher Møller Art Gallery; carmel art; Donald Greig Sculpture; art in the yard; WORLDART; The Cape Gallery; RED! The Gallery; Kalk Bay Modern; Allderman gallery; and Art on Church.
The brochure for the exhibition contains a welcome by Paul Duncan, the Curator of World Design Capital 2014. According to him, Cape Town is more than ‘an awe-inspiring slab of mountain, magnificent beaches and acres of pretty Boland vineyards. It’s a city of design and creativity.’ He adds that the Cape Town Art Fair ‘is a refreshing slice of what’s still to come’, referring to the design focus for 2014. Louise Cashmore is the Director of the exhibition, her surname associated with the Good Food & Wine Show, which originated in Cape Town, and is held around the country annually.
We were invited to attend the opening night by Opulent Living, which was contracted to create Culinary Art by Opulent Living at the Art Fair. Four chefs have been contracted by Opulent Living, and will take turns to prepare the food for each of the three exhibition days. Graham Beck’s excellent MCCs are available too. The four chefs doing duty for the Cape Town Art Fair are Chef Scot Kirton from Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant La Colombe, Chef Malika van Reenen from Signal Restaurant at The Cape Grace hotel, Chef Harpreet Kaur of Bombay Brasserie at The Taj, and Chef Jason Franco of the Table Bay hotel. On Thursday all four chefs were creating the most beautiful dishes, which are available daily at R50 per dish, or R125 for three dishes. Some of the dishes which will be prepared by the chefs are the following:
* Chef Scot Kirton: Terrine of foie gras and fennel, rhubarb butter, macadamia nut purée, on a lavender crumble; as well as asparagus veloute, poached quail egg, and black forest ham served in an egg shell (right).
* Chef Harpreet Kaur: Trio of ‘Poori’ shells: hummus olive, spiced potato, yoghurt and chutney, and spiced lamb; Mille Feuille of peppered and curried prawns.
The Cape Town Art Fair is an exciting taste of what awaits our city for the next fourteen months, when Cape Town takes on its role of responsibility as well as honour as World Design Capital 2014. The exhibition is excellently organised, and the food prepared by some of our city’s top chefs adds an extra flair to the unique mega art exhibition.
Cape Town Art Fair, The Lookout, V&A Waterfront. 25 – 27 October. 10h00 – 18h00 (tomorrow)/20hoo (today).
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage