On First Thursday earlier this month my Parisian friend Aurélie Jullien and I attended The Belgian Beer Company’s celebration of the ‘Art of Glass’ at the WORLDART Gallery on Church Street, an exhibition of the art by Lizette Chirrime, the first African artist whose work has been used on a Duvel beer glass.

Lizette comes from Mozambique but lives in Cape Town. She explained to us that she is a Queen in her tribe, and her royal descent was depicted in a massive tapestry made of various offcuts of materials, including knitted panels (photograph on the right below). ‘I paint with fabric’, she says. The rest of the exhibition consisted of paintings with fabric additions, and it is her ‘Madonna’ (photograph left below) that reflects the ‘multiple facets and layered complexity of the female form, embracing the spectrum of spirituality and sexuality. It’s a striking piece as fabric on canvas, but when admired on glass the element of transparency brings a new layer of meaning to the work’, the media statement explains. She says that she uses fabrics that are off-cuts, being a message to ‘us Africans’ to inspire each other to work with what they have. She believes that she is uniting human beings through her work, ‘by bringing things together in harmony’. 

The significance of selecting Lizette as a female artist reflects the history of women brewers until the commercialization and industrialization of beer production, explains Rejeanne Vlietman, director of the Belgian Beer Company. ‘We loved the way Lizette’s journey has been expressed through her art, and we felt her bold mixed media artworks would be the perfect fit for the first African artwork to grace a Duvel glass. Her work shows growth, it shows love, and it shows togetherness’, she added.

Duvel’s beer glass is unique in its design resembling a tulip, and one being able to pour a full 330 ml bottle of the beer into it, the design enhancing the flavour of the beer, and bringing its aromatics to the fore. ‘Art of Glass’ is an annual project, a different international artist’s work being chosen to beautify the limited edition of the signature Duvel glass. This is the eighth year of the ‘Art of Glass’ promotion. The artful glass will be available at selected bars and restaurants in Cape Town and Johannesburg. 

The Duvel gift packaging describes the brand as being brewed according to the original recipe using the finest malts fermented with Saaz-Saaz and Styrian Golden hops. The beer is matured for three months in the cellar. 

The media statement provided instructions to us as recipients of a Duvel pack of two bottles of Duvel Golden Ale beer and a Duvel glass: the bottle should be stored ideally st 5C, in an upright position. The Duvel ‘Madonna’ Glass should be held at a 45 degree angle, and the Duvel beer poured slowly along the side of the glass. Slowly bring the glass upright for a rich full head of foam. The beer and the head should divide at the height of the Duvel logo on the glass. The head should be 1cm below the edge of the glass. 

I loved attending this launch, a unique pairing of art and beer. 

Disclosure: I was sent a gift pack with two 330ml Duvel beers, an ‘Art of Glass’ beer glass, a pencil, and a rain poncho.  

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein