Art | The Lovell Gallery
The Lovell Gallery is an influential force in the South African contemporary art world, as it is known for its focus on new and emerging artists with a bright future. They hold annual competitions, which are respected for choosing the best new talents in the art world and offering them a chance to showcase their works to a wider, often international audience. It is a must visit for contemporary South African and international art lovers.
Dance | JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience
Durban: 26 August – 6 September 2015
Successfully held since 1998, the JOMBA! contemporary dance experience is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts in South Africa, and celebrates dance and choreography through the presentation of dance theatre. In celebrating this art form through classes, seminars and performances, the festival seeks to challenge the viewer with exciting and innovative dance forms. Professionals from Europe, America and South Africa will participate, with many of the performances addressing notions of traditional African culture and contemporary politics. The dance styles and techniques will range from neo-classical ballet to innovative urban dance.
Music | KZN Philharmonic Spring Season
Durban: from 27 August 2015
Taking place in the town hall of South Africa’s biggest city, Durban, the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra aims to use music as a means of promoting positive social values, whilst simultaneously contributing to the economic progression of the area of Durban and South Africa as a whole. Founded in 1983, the KZN consists of 70 professional musicians and their Spring season sees a weekly performance every Thursday. The opening night, ‘Spring Awakening’, will see performances from violin soloist Tai Murray, and conductor Rossen Milanov. With other performances from vocalists, pianists and clarinet dilettantes performing classics from the likes of Beethoven and Wagner, the event is a haven of classical delights for the ears.
Wine | Franschhoek Uncorked
Franschhoek: 26-27 September 2015
Warmer climates bring with them a comfortable breeze, and the sun kisses the beautiful hilly landscape that sets the scene for one of the most decadent events on the South African calendar this year. The Franschhoek Uncorked festival serves up delicious wine tastings with food and live music all weekend. Meaning ‘French Corner’, it is easy to see why this part of South Africa is home to such an event. The majority of restaurants here are award winners, and the area boasts a total of 40 winemakers, so visitors will be spoilt for choice. South Africa boasts an array of food and wine festivals, but beginning the Spring season at Franschhoek is a good start to the season.
Literature | Open Book Festival
Cape Town: 09 – 13 September 2015
The annual Open Book Festival has a programme bursting with things to do and see. With a vast array of readings from some of South Africa’s most prominent authors, the event focuses on all aspects of literature and reading. Workshops on book making will teach you the art behind this often overlooked skill, and poetry readings will emphasise the potential of the spoken word to instigate social change. There will also be programmes focusing on comic books, illustration and graphic design, in addition to the ‘Youth Fest’ section that will provide a selection of readings for the younger audience. The event is commendable for its focus on mentoring potential writers and seeking to increase donations to underfunded libraries.
Art | Joburg Art Fair
Johannesburg: 11 – 13 September 2015
The Joburg Art Fair aims to display works of contemporary art from all over Africa and areas of Europe. The art fair is a leader in promoting African contemporary art. Through strong support and development the African art market has seen a boom, and the 2015 fair is set to be the best yet. Participants will include esteemed photographer David Goldblatt, showing works from his ‘Structures’ series of photographs that creatively capture places of worship from around Johannesburg. The fair allows for enthusiasts and professionals of the contemporary art world to gather, view and discuss works of art that have been chosen for their success in relating to the people of Africa, and society as a whole.
Rocking the Daisies
Cloof Wine Estate, Darling: 1st – 4th October 2015
Rocking the Daisies focuses predominantly on live music, but the event also offers up a selection of gastronomic delights, displays of visual art and ecologically focused areas that encourage participants to think about the future of their environment. The main stage has boasted such performers as Alt-J and Desmond & the Tutus, and other events utilise the festival’s setting within the estate, offering up wine tastings of some of the finest wines in South Africa. The Art Field will exhibit installations from local artists, and promises to show some truly inventive and original works of art. With such an array of cultural offerings, it is an event not to be missed.
Photo and Film Expo
Johannesburg: 19 – 22 November 2015
The ‘largest photographic event in Africa’, the Photo and Film Expo offers information, workshops and products for new and established photographers. In addition, there will be various displays of photography that will have been chosen specifically for the event, giving participating photographers the chance to display their work to a wide international audience. Taking place within the vast Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg, the event will feature giveaways and competitions, as well as a number of demo areas for photographers to try out new gadgets. Through its success, the event supports charities such as The Sunflower Fund, which photographers regularly donate revenue to.
By Melissa Pearce