If there’s one thing South Africans know to do, it’s to make lemonade.
Even if Cyril Ramaphosa and the C-team behind the scenes hadn’t succeeded in snatching us back from the brink last week, and the desperate drought notwithstanding, February in the mother city would have continued to enjoy the inalienable distinction of being the most interesting place in the world to be right now.
If, unlike me, you’d got your act together, last week could have started with a preview of Joburg auction house Strauss & Co’s first contemporary art auction in Cape Town.
As the world of contemporary art continues to heat up to levels on a par with temperatures up the west coast, the auction itself bagged all kinds of records, including more than R1-million for a Karel Nel work. I really can’t believe I missed that moment.
The team from Strauss and Co, on the other hand, clearly thought ahead, timing the auction to coincide with what is now known as the Investec Cape Town Art Fair – the specialist bank’s sponsorship of this art event yet another confirmation that contemporary art is where the cool kids are at. Well, some of them.
If my instagram feed is anything to go by, the @ict_artfair Vernissage (Don’t ask. In Joburg, it means preview!) was one of those events you don’t want to miss – and not just because of the art. Call me shallow, but a gathering of interesting and talented people, dressed for the occasion and surrounded by beautiful things, simply makes my heart happy.
But back to the clever person’s February diary: Saturday morning would have found you dressed in anything from Cara Delevingne’s closet, with an embellished head dress of some sparkly description on your lap, driving towards a wine farm outside Stellenbosch for the Little Gig Festival.
Design Indaba has been described as a little miracle
We previewed Little Gig here a few weeks ago, thinking that this was essentially a little bit of Glastonbury by the sea. In fact, much like a designer Afrikaburn, Little Gig is a 24-hour feast of fun where the dress code is eccentric and the super chic set spend the night in the forest dancing and feasting on the finest fruits of the Cape.
My 24 hours in the forest would have been followed by registration for the event that some would say is the climax of all the February saturnalia: the Design Indaba festival that kicked off on Wednesday.
With an extraordinary line up of out the box thinkers and over the top creators, Design Indaba has been described as a little miracle. In fact, the organisers themselves refer to creativity as the ultimate renewable resource – and Cape Town dishes it up by the gallon come February every year.
Okay, so I won’t make it to the Cape this February (although I’m happily settling for the Design Indaba simulcast in Joburg, which isn’t half as much as fun as sitting next to Li Edelkoort in the Artscape Theatre!) but I will take a leaf out of our president’s book: With a great deal of patience, hard work and determination, I intend to make sure my February 2019 diary is sorted.