Archive | April, 2014

A day in Braamfontein

26 Apr

Go anywhere in Joburg on a Saturday and I’d predict that the most buzz will be found in… Braamfontein. It’s even busier than Sandton City (and parking is as hard to find). I have mixed feelings about this, but overall it’s a good thing. Two years ago, when I held my first exhibition at Velo at 85 Juta Street, Neighbourgoods across the road was already popular, but the streets weren’t pulsing¬†with people.

Braamies vibe

Now, as you drive down Jan Smuts and take the slip road to the left just before the Nelson Mandela Bridge, the change is immediately apparent. There’s street art, the pavements are jampacked, and every few steps is another coffee shop or restaurant. As for Neighbourgoods, you need to wear a suit of armour to survive the scrums of Joburgers grasping at paella and Nutella pancakes. It’s all very Tim Noakes unfriendly and quite terrifying.


I met friends there and we didn’t even try to find a place to sit – we ate standing up on the staircase (and I have no doubt that several forkfuls of beetroot galette ended up in my laptop bag).

Bubbly at Neighbourgoods

Back at Velo, I met Vernon Joyce, a young photographer persuaded by my friend (and newly appointed art coordinator) Juan Coetzee to take pictures. A band played for patrons gathered at The Grove while later we were treated to a traditional Zulu dance.

Juan and Andre

(One thing that hasn’t changed: the breakdancers who gather at The Grove to practice their moves.)


Having taken full advantage of the wine available at Neighbourgoods, Juan persuaded me to get a drumming lesson from the buskers, who by then wanted to go home, but who humoured me nonetheless.

Beating the drum

If you’re in Joburg next Saturday, come through – I’ll be at Velo¬†to give personalised tours of the Firepool exhibition and there will be plenty else to see and do.

%d bloggers like this: