Victoria Yards - Is redefining the Joburg inner-city landscape
Last week I visited Victoria Yards in Johannesburg, and even though it’s not officially opened I had such a fabulous time that I thought you should know about it.
Victoria Yards is an inner-city development near town. Its address is 24 Victoria Road Lorentzville, South Africa. I was a bit nervous about the area but found secure parking as well as guards on patrol and once I walked in it was like walking into another world of green veggies and awesome face brick. I loved it instantly!
I went to the main office and was given a tour of the space and taken to the different Galleries and artists that were there working. I spoke to gallery owners, artists and artisans in their own space. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and honestly, I felt so excited about meeting these people and seeing their work that I landed up staying most of the day and feeling right at home.
As the heading above states I love gardening and art so this place was right up my street and being an amateur in both I was eager to learn. I met the Gardener in charge who was very busy planting veggies but did manage to answer a few questions. She said that you could order you’re veg box weekly for R50 and collect on Fridays and her gardening advice to me after looking at a picture of my veg patch was to plant lettuce next.
First off I met Carol Hogarth the gallery owner of Art Affrique (loving wife to Robin Hogarth twice Grammy award winner for the Soweto choir), she really seems like a mover and a shaker in the art world with a fast mind always looking for opportunities in the art world who said that her true goal and what gives her the most pleasure was discovering talent in artists and helping them to learn and grow, not only in their artistic expression but to become more succesful in the art business as well.
Then it was to Dario Manjate's studio, he is a fantastic collage artist who has sold a collage at auction for over R200 000 to help a young boy in his studdies. His smile was warm and his handshake friendly. A lot of his work has some kind of special story to it and I love how he uses his talent to help those less fortunate than himself. I was so impressed by the scale and beauty of his art and I really loved hearing about it too.
I then climed the ramp into the Daville Baillie Gallery and asked to be shown around and if I could take some pics, I was a bit nervous about this, having never really done this before. Matthew Krouse walked me around the gallery and explained a few highlights. My favourite artists were Faatimah Mohamed-Luke her exhibition name Mr And Mrs Luke 'THE NEW NEW'. Her current focus is on creating large-scale art made of plastic building blocks. A second favourite Fringe who is a South African Artist mostly for the cool Starwars imagery. Mr Brainwash is another noteable that has been shown in the gallery previously especially as I actually saw the docummetary 'Exit Through The Gift Shop' . Being a SciFi fan it was also great to see the sculptures of our very own South African artist Furio Tedeschi, who has worked on some big Hollywood blockbusters like Starwars and Transformers. I would definately recommend you visit this gallery if you are a serious collector or just for the fun of it.
Lastly I met Craig Smith in his studio, he works mostly with oil on canvas and he was kind enough to talk about his work which I spontaneously decided to film. I can wait for him to try out a free sample of my Artist oil paints and see what he thinks.
I did go to Blessing Art Studios as well but unfortunately, he wasn’t there, I did meet his apprentice Ricky Bopape who I thought to be quite "Street" fashionable though. He gave me a bit of a tour and showed me a few works. The most notable one being a metal sculpture of Jacob Zuma our ex-president. It was quite shocking because the first thing I noticed was you know what. Have a squiz for yourself.
Some other interesting places to visit would be the Smelt Glass studio which was very hot but interesting, they have a viewing area where you can watch them create the glass products and Sarah Cronin Designs was really interesting too. She creates fantastic art metal water features and I would love to have one of my own some day.