Life in the seaside village of Hermanus offers a complete contrast to
living in any bustling city anywhere in South Africa. Surrounded by the
looming Overberg mountainous landscape, filled with a magical
symphony of flowering fynbos, a chorus of abundant singing birdlife and
in the rainy season, the cacophony of roaring waterfalls and tinkling
mountain streams, artistic sensibilities flourish. This curtain of untouched
wilderness is edged by the Atlantic Ocean, its mood dependent on wind,
the position of the moon and storms in the Antarctic, and nightly stillness
where the roar of the ocean, the shimmering light of a pristine sky and
the hoot of owls lull the body and soul into contemplation and calm.
Daily activity in the village comprises carefully considered thought as to
which coffee shop to visit, which path to walk along and whether the
temperature of the sea is inviting enough to plunge into the curling
waves. The seasonal changes determine much of the daily routine and
are so clearly marked that wardrobe choices are predetermined.
The local Saturday morning village market establishes the weekly diet
where the neighbouring farmers arrive with their freshly picked produce
to seduce villagers to shop and fill their baskets. As Autumn draws to a
close, one sadly bids adieu to the sweet, addictive grapes, the crunchy
apple harvest, the delicately perfumed pears and the sumptuous
pomegranates. Refrigerated produce offers no temptation as the
anticipation of next year’s harvest makes the waiting worthwhile. And, of
course, each season brings its own unique delicacies.
The village centre measures an approximate 2sq kilometre range
offering a choice of 20 art galleries. Each offers insight into the
production of art activity throughout Southern Africa. Every first Friday of
the month the galleries open their doors until 20.00h offering art lovers
an opportunity to peruse the contents whilst enjoying a glass of local
wine, grown in the adjoining valleys surrounding the village. For the past
decade an annual Arts Festival is held during the month of June, where
visitors descend on the village to enjoy a wide variety of lectures,
workshops, art exhibition events, culinary demonstrations and musical
and theatrical productions.
Intethe Art Gallery in High Street exhibits art produced by artists from
South Africa’s 11 provinces. The Gallery celebrates the diversity of
cultural vision of Southern African artists and presents beautifully
conceived carefully constructed artworks that speak of contemporary
issues presented by the modern world.
In January 2022, COP26 was heralded as the last great hope to halt the
crisis of global warming. World leaders gathered in Scotland with
suitable fanfare bringing their suggestions and solutions to prevent a
deteriorating situation from worsening. The event will sadly be
remembered for its’ skirting around difficult political sensitivities,
unfinished business and broken promises and will have left most of its
observers cynical and disappointed.
Only a month later, no one saw, nor could have imagined, what would
consume the world stage. As we now watch humanity within Ukraine
writhe with pain, fear and devastation, mention of Climate Change has
fallen to the bottom of immediate priority lists. One of the fearsome
warnings regarding the looming catastrophe of global warming was
penned by a Ukrainian scientist and released the week after Russia
invaded her country.
An annual Festival of Arts is celebrated in the quiet winter month of
June, in the seaside village of Hermanus. The town nestles below a
majestic mountain range edged by Walker Bay, now famous for the
annual arrival of Southern Right Whales coming to give birth in the
safety the bay provides. The whales remain in the area until mid-
December, protecting and preparing their young for their return to the
open seas and their home in the southern Antarctic Ocean.
The Fynarts Festival is the brainchild of a retired academic Mary Faure.
She has dedicated her energies to conceiving of and building a rich and
varied programme featuring different aspects of human creativity to
enjoy, celebrate and on which to reflect. Now in its 10 th year, the 2022
Programme presents a wide-ranging offering of musical and theatrical
events, lectures, films, art exhibitions, demonstrations, wine tastings,
cookery and culinary events held in a variety of venues, both in the
village itself but also in the adjoining hotels and at the wine estates.
After the perceived let down of COP26 where optimism for concrete
action against global warming dissipated, together with the anxious
distraction created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we know we
cannot rely on the world’s politicians to act for the future well-being of life
on earth. Energetic educational tools will be required to alert humanity to
the impending disasters that will affect all living creatures and their
Intethe Gallery at 25 High Street Hermanus will present a group
exhibition for the Fynarts Festival 22 entitled Wake Up! The artists’
artistic language focuses on aspects of the vulnerability of life on our
planet and the immediacy of the present-day precarious circumstances.
The artists participating in this exhibition include Sara Abbott Paula Du
Bois, Shelton Hu Amos Letsoalo, Gcina Maduna Zamani Makhanya,
Shepherd Ndudzo, Anitra Nettleton Kristin Ng Yang, Lucy Stuart Clark,
Jean Theron Louw, Herman Van Nazareth, Amy van den Bergh.