THE connection between art and food is undeniable. Not only is gorgeously creative plating shown to maximum advantage on purpose-designed flatware, but restaurants and wine estates often display the work of fine artists on their premises.
This week La Mouette (Seagull) in Sea Point launched a varied exhibition in partnership with Claudette Robinson, formerly of Christie’s in London, to create an art encounter. The [email protected] La Mouette experience offers an inviting atmosphere where guests are immersed in a stimulating sensory experience of contemporary African art, food and wine.
“Residing within Africa’s numerous wonderful works of art are so many important stories from our continent waiting to be discovered,” said Robinson. “Often these stories are experienced primarily by aficionados who are part of the ‘art world’. By exhibiting works in the warm and welcoming atmosphere of one of Cape Town’s most popular restaurants, we’re creating a space for art that is both unexpected and accessible.”
La Mouette comprises several separate dining areas where the walls have been adorned with the work of seven Cape Town artists. Six have exhibited at fine galleries and have work that is collected by both local and international buyers. The seventh, Godfrey Makopa, is new to the South African art scene and his work is being shown for the first time. The art is for sale and one of Makopa’s Afro-Futuristic pieces has already been snapped up.
“The works are eclectic and playful with tribal undertones. We hope our platform for exposure will result in the positive continuance of Godfrey’s creative exploration, so that his and more stories like these can be told,” said Robinson.
The vibrant colours of the walls at La Mouette make the perfect backdrop for showing off the striking paintings and photographs which capture many different moods. I was particularly taken with Cathy Layzell’s oils on canvas; her work can vary from “brightly textured and impasto work, to hauntingly muted abstractions of landscapes and vistas, scenes, moments, thoughts, feelings and notions”.
The restaurant’s bathroom has not been overlooked as an exhibition space and this is where you can examine the work of ceramicist John Bauer. He told me he is a compulsive collector and believes he is a vessel for sharing the found objects which he uses to create his multitude of tiny ceramic tiles. “What makes my heart leap can make someone else’s heart leap,” he said at the media party earlier this week. Bauer uses an innovative process he invented himself to create layered impressions of a variety of items, like doilies and tiny Japanese carvings worn by geishas. It was a fascinating conversation.
Other artists exhibiting are Louis Nel, MJ Lourens, Peter van Straten and Frans Smit and you can view their work until the end of the year.
l La Mouette is at 78 Regent Road, Sea Point. Telephone 021 433 0856.