Ed's letter | If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad
A few weeks ago in the afternoon Joburg heat and over a glass of white, I chatted to Gina Molle, the curator of Everard Read gallery, at its real-life, in-the-flesh opening of Wayne Barker’s latest show. We were talking about pink. It’s a colour I am instinctively drawn to. It makes me happy, and always has. In this instance, though, we were chatting about its weaponisation and fascinating history. Molle has been thinking on the shade because Everard Read is hanging a show engaging with it, succinctly called Pink, for Art Joburg from 6-18 November. It includes works by the likes of FNB Art Prize winner Lady Skollie and Lionel Smit.
Anyhow, I’m getting lost in the candyfloss and fuchsia. What I suddenly realised in that exact moment was that there we were having a conversation in person, at a show in person, about one coming up — in person! What a departure from six months ago. And what unmitigated joy it brought me, even if we were still wearing masks and I was paranoia-hand-sanitising every few minutes. There were still people, and sun and art and wine and smart ideas and lots of laughing. I could have levitated with gladness.
I’ve thought, since then, that I will never ever take any of that for granted again. Reflecting on its utter normality still makes me smile.
LOOK | Page through the digital copy of Wanted's November issue (enlarge for easy viewing):
It was a simple pleasure that, in the Covid-19 context, took on new proportions and meaning in my life. As have other things in the past month too. They include:
- Moonlight dinner in the garden with friends.
- Listening to starchitect Sir David Adjaye talk about the late Nigerian art critic and curator Okwui Enwezor on the BBC Great Lives podcast.
- Crocheting. Yes, really.
- The new collaboration between local luxe Carol Bouwer bags and national cultural treasure Esther Mahlangu.
- My sister’s five rescue Chihuahuas.
- A long, boozy lunch at Joburg’s brilliant Pron with handbreak-bread and potstickers.
- Snort laughing as our sub Benazir Cassim and I practised pronouncing Jaeger LeCoultre for the interview I did with Benedict Cumberbatch on page 20. (It’s “jeh-jair luh-cool-truh”, in case you were wondering).
I’m biased but I think this issue also offers a massive dose of delight. It illustrates that, after the pitch-dark moments of 2020, there are people hustling, spirits are fierce, and creativity makes the world a lot better. As does summer. And pink.
Stay safe and happy.
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