Whatever the weather, every year from February to December, thousands descend on Cape Town for this walking festival tour of what’s hot in The Mother City. The furthest thing from any elite ideas about art - it is free, accessible and extremely sociable.
Aside from introducing fresh, local work to the public it is a monthly exchange of ideas between artists.
Central to connecting artists with the public id The Young Blood Gallery at seventy Bree Street, managed by Marie Vogts and renowned for developing new talent.
First Thursdays expose the work of Robyn Pretorius to a range of the public who might not generally visit galleries. New talent is sought to refresh what’s on offer each month, which means greater opportunity for more artists.
From the fish to the salt to the wine list, everything is sourced locally and supports homegrown businesses.
This was a leap of faith and investment in South Africa for Alex and Ruth Grahame who sold their restaurant in Scotland to move their lives, lock stock to a new country.
In the kitchen is British Chef Philip Alcock. His latest invention is a smoked snoek doughnut born of the seventeen years he has worked in South Africa. Using Cape Malay flavours, Phil’s approach is to buy local and if it’s not sustainably sourced from African waters it’s not on the menu.
With the seafood comes a rocking good menu of cocktails which, Ruth Grahame explained, each has a story.
We step inside the store taking South African, Ivorian, Swazi and Ethiopian fashion abroad this hub of creative, African expression is the brain child of Hanneli Rupert.
African design is classic tribal and works every season. You’ll find labels from accessories brand Khokho, combining leather workmanship and Swazi weaving.
Loza Maléombho’s goods are made by young women in need of opportunity in Ivory Coast and Ohema Ohene, the brand by Abenaa Pokuaa blends British styling with West African textiles and SAWA shoes made in Ethiopia. African design and manufacturing can only benefit from being showcased by a retailer with such global reach.