This was how Thessa Bos described the success of the Cape Creative Exhibition, which ended on Sunday 18 July, the day of Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
Bos co-curated and managed the Cape Creative Exhibition with Chantal Louw, with whom she co-founded The Fringe Arts, a pop-up store/gallery which showcases local art and design. See www.thefringearts.co.za
The Cape Creative Exhibition was the brainchild of Patrick Schofield’s Indalo Project, an organisation which aims to develop and showcase local design in all its elements.
The multi-disciplinary exhibition, which showcased the creative talent of Cape Town, was a melting pot which brought together selected ranges of craft, design, fine art, film and performing art.
The exhibition was housed on the Fan Walk at 37 Main Road, Green Point.
The Cape Creative Exhibition project was launched by the City of Cape Town’s Tourism Department in partnership with the Cape Craft Design Institute (CCDI) as a platform to showcase Cape Town’s creativity during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Other bodies included in the partnership were the Cape Film Commission (CFC), Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA), Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) and the Africa Centre.
A range of artists were assigned dedicated spaces in the refurbished three-storey building, where they performed during the exhibition.
Performances covered a variety of genres and included short films and documentaries, theatre, dance and craft.
The aim of the exhibition was to promote Cape Town as a “creativity destination” during the tournament by giving locals and tourists a window into the creative talents of Capetonians.
“We were very happy with how it all went, especially considering it was put together in less than a month. We had more than 1500 people coming through to the exhibition, 80 percent of whom were international visitors. That number excluded the people who attended the evening performances, so we are very happy with the attendance figures.
“What was special was that it was the first time that a range of creative professionals from the performing arts, the visual arts and other sectors came together in one building to showcase what they are about and to profile the level of organisation that exists in the creative industry in the Western Cape.
“The exhibition has shown that there is most definitely scope for a repeat of this collaboration or to do it on a more permanent basis,” Bos said.
“It showed what Cape Town and the Western Cape have to offer when it comes to creativity and the development of the creative sector.
“It was also very important that Creative Cape Town has a space in the house where they showcased what they are about and that they held their Design Network meeting there.”
A total of 82 craft producers showcased the best of handmade Western Cape craft and design flair at the exhibition.
Bos said the exhibition paves the way for future marketing opportunities for Cape Town’s creative talent.
The City’s Director: Tourism, Nombulelo Mkefa, said the project will see benefits beyond the 2010 FIFA World Cup. “This project is about the soul of Cape Town, its people and the wealth of talent it has to offer the world beyond 2010,” she said.
Indalo’s Schofield had this to say: “We had an empty building, a whole country in celebration for a month, visitors from all over the world; together, a fantastic opportunity to showcase creative Cape Town. This is the first public exhibition we’ve undertaken and we planned to raise a brow or two. Our mandate was to push the creative edge in Cape Town and South Africa, what better way than turning a whole