Category Archives: travel

SA overtakes France in UK wine sales

29 March 2010

South African wine sales in the UK have overtaken those of France for the first time, according to the latest figures from market analysts AC Nielsen.

South African wine sales grew 20% by volume between January 2009 and January 2010 to 12 270 000 nine-litre cases, compared to a decline in French wine sales of 12%, to 12 266 000 nine-litre cases; growth that also saw South Africa becoming the fourth-largest selling country for wine in the UK.

“This is a momentous occasion for the South African wine industry, which is relatively young in terms of the global export market,” Wines of South Africa UK market manager Jo Mason said in a statement last week.

“In 1994 our producers wouldn’t have dreamt of selling more wine to the UK than France, but now the wine landscape has changed completely.”

‘Up there with the best’

Although the South African wine industry is over 350 years old, it is recently that the country’s exports have seen significant growth. In 1994, the industry exported around 50-million litres of wine globally; by the close of 2009, exports had increased eightfold, reaching almost 400-million litres.

Mason pointed out that UK consumers no longer “defaulted” to European wine, and that the quality of wine from South Africa was up there with the best in the world.

“This achievement has coincided with a year where South Africa is thrust into the spotlight as host nation for the [2010 Fifa World Cup], which should ensure continued success for our wines, as visitors flock to the Cape or crack open a bottle while watching the game.”

SAinfo reporter

South African Art continued its march onto the world stage

South African Art continued its march onto the world stage as a newly appreciated art form and investment at Bonhams seventh sale of South African Art in London on Wednesday.

“Works by Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, Gerard Sekoto and Maggie Laubser all beat their pre-sale estimates,” Bonhams said in a statement. “The top-priced work in the sale was by Pierneef, titled ‘An Extensive View of Farmlands’, which sold for £356 000 (R3.9-million) against an estimate of £120 000 to £180 000.”

The sale’s catalogue cover lot by Gerard Sekoto, “Market Street Scene, Cape Town,” sold for £192 000 (R2.1-million) against a pre-sale estimate of £120 000 to £180 000. And a Maggie Laubser, “Woman Wearing a Red Doek”, estimated at £20 000 to £30 000 sold for £50 400 (R554 000).

“Once again we have been delighted by the response from buyers,” Giles Peppiatt, director of South African art at Bonhams, said after the sale. “You would not have known in the saleroom today that we are cautiously emerging from the worst recession in 80 years. The mood was buoyant, the bidding brisk and the prices excellent.

“After five years of selling South African art, I feel that this is not a blip or a fashion but the start of a long march to real international recognition and appreciation of this vibrant art from the tip of Africa,” Peppiatt said.

SAinfo reporter

2010 art project promotes Africa

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2 October 2009

The 2010 Fine Art project, a visual celebration of the world’s most-watched sporting event, is assembling an international collection by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists to promote African visual arts and Africa as a powerful cultural destination.

2010 Fine Art is a South African company that has acquired a global licence to produce and distribute fine art related to the 2010 Fifa World Cup – the first time in the 80-year history of the tournament that Fifa has granted such a licence.

And according to general manager Rob Spaull, the project will be one of the largest international art collaborations in history.

“We are assembling an international collection by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists that celebrates Africa and the Fifa World Cup,” Spaull said in a a statement last month.

“With five artists from each nation that qualifies to play in South Africa, we will have 160 original works from every corner of the globe.

“Add to that the exceptional pieces being assembled for the 2010 African Fine Art Collection, and the fact that we will be exhibiting not only here in South Africa but in all 32 countries during 2010, and you start to get a sense of how big an opportunity this is to promote African art and Africa as a destination of choice.”

According to Spaull, 2010 Fine Art is busy adding artists to its international and African collections, and has begun to identify and appoint gallery partners in the 32 countries where it will be exhibiting.

“The second phase of development will see the creation of a three-dimensional virtual art gallery in which all of the works from both collections will be able to be viewed online as part of a seamless virtual walkthrough,” Spaull said.

The 2010 Fine Art website – www.2010fineart.com – allows visitors to see which countries have qualified for the World Cup and what art is available from each. As new teams qualify, their art will be loaded and updated.

“Art is a language common to all,” says Spaull. “It opens windows of understanding between foreign cultures, and unites peoples who might otherwise share no common experiences. Sport, like art, creates bridges between cultures, and brings people together through shared excitement.

“The eyes of the world are turning to South Africa as never before. We must make every use of these global opportunities to promote African visual arts and Africa.”

SAinfo reporter

67 Minutes for Mandela

3 July 2009 thanks to
SAinfo reporter

“Mr Mandela has spent 67 years making the world a better place. We’re asking you for 67 minutes.” Nelson Mandela turns 91 on 18 July, and the call has gone out for people everywhere to celebrate his birthday – and the global launch of Mandela Day – by acting on the idea that each person has the power to change the world.

The call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and its sister organisations for the creation of an official global Mandela Day, to be celebrated annually on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday, is gaining momentum.

Mandela Day: make an imprintThe celebration of Mandela Day aims to serve as a global call to action for people to “recognise their individual power to make an imprint and help change the world around them for the better”, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said at the launch of the campaign in April.

“Nelson Mandela has been making an imprint on the world for 67 years, beginning in 1942 when he first started to campaign for the human rights of every South African. His life has been an inspiration to the world.”

Now, the Mandela Day campaign is calling on people around the world to commit 67 minutes of their time “to make an imprint and help change the world around them.”

* Find out about volunteer opportunities, pledge some of you time, make an imprint: http://www.mandeladay.com

Mandela, who turns 91 this year, said at the time of the launch that he would be “honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation.”

Tim Massey, director of 46664, a Mandela-inspired and supported campaign to combat Aids internationally, said Mandela Day was about “creating a movement for positive change, and establishing one day to reflect upon, celebrate and make manifest the values that guide Nelson Mandela.”

Former US president Bill Clinton said the core of Mandela’s example was that “the power of public good does not require public office, just a well-placed heart and a determined mind.

“In return for everything Madiba has taught us, we each owe it to him to support his work and legacy by doing and living our own as best we can, not just on this day, but throughout our entire lives.”

South African President Joseph Zuma, in his first state of the nation address in Parliament in June, threw his weight behind Mandela Day, saying it would give people “in South Africa and all over the world the opportunity to do something good to help others … Let us wholeheartedly support Mandela Day and encourage the world to join us in this wonderful campaign.”

46664 is working with its partner organisations, as well as city authorities, community associations and volunteers across the globe to create a worldwide series of Mandela Day events to honour Mandela’s life and legacy.

At the centre of the celebrations will be a massive music headliner concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on 18 July.

For more information, visit http://www.mandeladay.com.

Mother Nature’s spoils

I take a different look at nature, not how to paint it but rather how to appreciate Mother Nature’s spoils.

I have taken the liberty of using information from CC Africa RANGERS so as to be sure my info to you is correct.

I don’t really think you will ever need this trivia, except in a quiz, but it’s fun to know and just one of the ways our rangers are able to enhance your South African Painting Holiday with masses of African titbit’s and Ranger stories. So here goes:

Five useful remedies that can be found in the bush:

  • Russet Bushwillow – makes a great herbal tea.
  • Sodom Apple – the juice is used to treat fresh wounds.
  • Acacia – the cambium is chewed and the juice swallowed to treat stomach disorders.
  • Aloe Secundiflora – the inner plant can be applied on skin as protection from the sun.
  • Lippia Javonica – crushing and inhaling the leaves will help to relieve colds and flu.
  • Lions-paw – an extract from the plant mixed with pumpkin seeds is used to treat tapeworm.
  • Now wasn’t that really interesting? Next time you are painting a Lippia Javonica you’ll be reminded of this article and be able to act all knowledgeable. However, I’ve lived in Africa for years and have never met anyone using any of these cures, (well maybe the aloe even I use aloes) but then again I live in the suburbs of the third largest city in South Africa, with every amenity available to me, so maybe that’s why!

    A Thought 4 U

    “Don’t copy anyone else. You are the best one of you there is. Be yourself, and exaggerate yourself slightly.”
    Paul Daniels, Magician
    par exellence

Here’s how to do the diski dance

Forget the macarena. Forget the moonwalk, or the new move reportedly planned for Michael Jackson’s comeback. South Africa’s own diski dance is set to get the world jiving to an African rhythm when the football World Cup arrives on the continent for the first time.

The diski, comprising a series of choreographed soccer moves, features in the latest television advert from South African Tourism, aimed at generating excitement at home and abroad ahead of the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

The advert will air on global channels including CNN, BBC, Eurosport and Skysport between now and the World Cup kickoff on 11 June 2010, giving soccer fans a chance to learn the moves and “feel the rhythm of African football”.

Click here to play video.

Posted on SouthAfrica.info on 20 May 2009.

Combine football with a wonderful painting holiday tour of KwaZulu Natal to have the best of all worlds in one glorious package.

Bushman painting as documentary

ORIGINAL ARTICLE BY: Lucille Davie
30 October 2008

There were no Bushmen about to ask how to create the paintings, so artist Stephen Townley Bassett learned how to recreate Bushman paintings the hard way – by trial and error.

His dedication to the task over the past 18 years has led to the first major exhibition of his Bushman works – 30 extraordinary paintings assembled at the Origins Centre at Wits University in Johannesburg in an exhibition entitled Reservoirs of Potency.

“I threw away my penknife,” Bassett says, together with plastic containers and metal tins. And went out into the bush discovering. He learned how to use animal blood, saliva, ochre, cobra venom and ostrich egg shells to create pigment to paint the images, precise copies of Bushmen paintings from around the country.

He learned too how to use porcupine quills, buck horns, rocks, animal hairs, bird droppings, feathers and animal skins that would become his stock in trade. He made mistakes along the way but got it right.
‘I learned that fat is a good binder’

“I learned that fat is a good binder. I would make a paste which was easy to carry. I learned to liquefy it again with gall, saliva and blood.” Bassett also learned about the different quality of hair of different animals, giving him fine hair for a paintbrush, or thicker hair for a bushier brush.

He even made his own stone tools to skin spring hares and foxes he’d shot, to use the skin as a pouch in which to carry his painting implements.

The animals and people in his works, which Bassett calls “documentary paintings”, are the precise size of the originals. The works are done on 100 percent cotton sheets. Each piece, he says, is a one-off.

“So much has gone into each painting,” he explains. He would spend days at a site, deciphering the original, with a miner’s lamp on his forehead.

“The first thing is to document as accurately as possible, doing it with pigments available to them, absolutely life size. I would only record what I saw, making it a little darker, to take account of dust,” he recounts. Then back at home a painting would take between six and eight weeks to complete.

“The work is very exacting, very demanding. There is no debate, the work has to be right – everything exactly there. It is a blend of science, art and craft,” he says, referring to the tool-making as craft.
Endorsements

Such is his attention to detail that the professor emeritus and renowned researcher and author on Bushman art, David Lewis-Williams, comments in the caption of one piece that it was only after Bassett captured the work, the Leaping Lion, that Lewis-Williams noticed fish around the lion’s body.

“Often I return to the site with my half-completed painting to compare colours and overall appearance of my rendition to the original on the rock,” says Bassett. “All paint marks on the rock that are within the frame of reference of the chosen scene must be recorded. All marks must be acknowledged and recorded. The final product must be the next best thing to the original on the rock, a kind of historical document of what has been deciphered from the rock face.”

His paintings have brief notes or paint blotches around the edges which don’t distract from the work, but help to guide him as to colour and markings on the original.

And he has the full endorsement of Dr Benjamin Smith, the director of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, and Lewis-Williams, who describes the work as “wonderful” and “very special”.

“You must either do the work accurately or not at all,” says Lewis-Williams.

Smith says: “This is an artist like no other; he bleeds for his art,” referring to the fact that Bassett has used his own blood in his paint mixes.

Bassett doesn’t only do Bushman art – he produces landscapes and takes on commissions from local farmers, who, he says with a mischievous smile, can be very exacting in what they want.

A book has been produced to accompany the exhibition – Reservoirs of potency – the documentary paintings of Stephen Townley Bassett. In 2002, he published another book, Rock paintings of South Africa – revealing a legacy.

“It has been an extraordinary journey,” he exclaims. Bassett is keen for the exhibition to travel, around South Africa and overseas, on perhaps an equally extraordinary journey.

Bassett’s works are available for private viewing and purchase at the Bonair Road Gallery in Cape Town.

Source: City of Johannesburg