Vintage South Africa – Milnerton Market

I have just returned from my trip to South Africa. I spent several weeks in Cape Town and I went to some great flea markets while I was there.
I particularly enjoyed strolling through ‘Milnerton Market’ which had a great mix of antiques and African tribal art.
The market is set up in a car park opposite the Biscuit Mill with stunning views of Table Mountain. It mainly consists of people selling their goods from their cars or small makeshift stalls. People were selling pieces of African art and various other things such as furniture, antique china, crockery, cutlery, tools, books and other interesting junk.
I met some interesting characters at the Milnerton Market, I Russian guy named Igor who sold nice antique bits and pieces.
The market offers an eclectic mix of antique and modern furniture and crafts from various different cultures within South Africa, which reflects the diverse make up of Cape Town itself.
Anton Kotze -‘the book man’ who sells books he finds and saves from being pulped.  The books are for sale on his old benz he parks at the market along with some African tribal art.  
He made a film called ‘Safari Obscura‘ – safari is Swahili for ‘journey’ and obscura comes from the camera obscura. The film addresses the relationship between African tribal art and humans.
Unlike a lot of Western art, African tribal art is functional and is made to be used. Anton travels across Africa to explore how art fits in with royalty and society, all the way from the beginnings of prehistoric cave paintings to 20th century.

REcreate South African Style

On my trip to Cape Town I came across this great little shop which re crafts pieces of disused furniture or appliances to make fun quirky pieces.

REcreate lies right across from the Biscuit Mill Market, where you can get great food and fresh fruit and vegetables. The shop is filled with great ideas, some of the things you could almost make at home, provided you had the right skills and craftsmanship of course.

There are stacks of old trunks and suitcases that remind me of things I might find in my grandparents garage.

When you look more closely you realise that these trunks have legs and open up into plush comfy seats and that the lamp stand is actually made from an old vacuum cleaner.

The founder, Katie Thompson is passionate about transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Katie’s remarkable ability to find the intrinsic beauty and new, hidden purpose in the old, discarded items she chooses for her pieces is evident in the vast array of pieces in the shop.

She describes herself as a “hoarder of all things useless, impractical, broken, colourful and shiny”, her designs also show signs of her Dadaist leanings.

The eclectic combination of styles, materials and finishes makes the shop both inspiring and fascinating.

If you ever find yourself in Cape Town REcreate is definitely worth a visit, while their creations can also be found in the Netherlands and Austria.

Art Is Taking Over London!

I have heard that giant red balls will be appearing in locations all across the UK this summer.

This is a project constructed by Brooklyn based artist Kurt Perschke and has previously taken place in major cities across the globe, such as Sydney, Taipei, Barcelona and Chicago.

The giant 15 feet inflatable RedBalls will come to a number of cities along the UKs south coast before making their way to London. The sculptural performance art is part of the olympic theme for London’s games this summer. RedBalls are wedged between buildings and emerge in unexpected spaces everywhere from bus stops to public toilets and railway arches.

While walking down the street you realise there is a massive bouncy red ball squashed into an alleyway, you look twice and realise it is really there. It’s kinda weird, but makes you smile.

The bright colour and size make them both conspicuous and bizarre, but the playful concept of the RedBalls is set to awaken the imagination of the general public. It livens up spaces that may normally appear dreary or derelict and injects some creativity and colour.

I have to say I’m pretty excited about seeing them, hopefully they’ll be squishy and within reach so I can jump on them too! A bit like this guy…

Upcycling, Downcycling, Recycling – What’s the Difference?

When I first heard the term ‘upcycle’ I thought people were talking about biking up a hill, when someone tried to explain the meaning of this new term I thought why not just stick to the word ‘recycle’. So is ‘upcycling’ really a word? If it is what is the difference between ‘upcycling’ and ‘recycling’??

Let me explain a bit about the meaning of upcycling. Generally there are two ways to recycle – upcycling and downcycling. Upcycling aims to make use of existing materials, reusing these in a way that will add value without using up new raw materials.

This is the opposite of downcycling which involves extracting valuable materials from the product to create a lower quality result. Recycling on an industrial scale usually consists of the latter, but upcycling is becoming more popular especially among young artists and designers.

I am even getting the bug at home, converting old pieces of furniture into shelving or books into chair legs. My flatmate obviously stops me at a point to prevent the house looking like a flea market, but you get the idea..

I’m trying my best at some DIY and creating some artistic pieces of practical furniture. My personal favourite is our very own upcycled toilet/plant pot.

As the upcycling trend continues to spread, from furniture to fashion design, I am beginning to wonder whether I will ever have to shop again. I keep finding beautiful things in my own home I can make use of to make something quirky yet functional.

Working on the things you already have doesn’t only limit what you throw away but it also improves what you choose to keep.

A Musical House Powered by the Rain

The Kunsthofpassage in Dresden, Germany is home to a number of beautiful buildings. The Kunsthopassage is made up of a complex of five courtyards and was inspired and designed by Dresden artists.

Each courtyard is the result of a vision of a different artist and combines art and architecture in their respective themes. The ‘courtyard of elements’ focuses of natural elements and animals, playing with rainwater and light.

It is home to the ‘courtyard of water’ which integrates metal funnels and pipes to the facade of the building resulting in musical sounds when it rains.

The water trickles down through a series of funnels making music through its descent. The instruments are attached to the wall of the building in big structures that join together allowing the water to ring through every pipe.

Blue and turquoise colours give the courtyard a vibrant and natural feel, while the gushing sound of the rain gives a calming feeling to residents and visitors. The structures portray how architecture and art can incorporate natural elements to enhance both the aesthetic value but also create a function within a building.