I haven’t been to the Michaelis Graduate Exhibition for several years but, with Cape Town becoming World Design Capital 2014 in a few weeks time, I have thrown myself back into the art world in an effort to catch up on what I’ve missed.
Despite the chilly South-Easter, the atmosphere was sizzling as 45 excited graduates, proud parents, friends and a motley crew of inebriated and otherwise jolly students chatted and popped corks to celebrate the culmination of years of hard work.
The ambience was enchanting as scores of us lost ourselves in the maze of the seven beautiful old buildings that house Michaelis School of Fine Arts, hoping a bargain would steal our hearts. Excited buyers – young and old, expert and novice – hoped to find a piece from an up-and-coming artist that struck a chord in the heart and in the pocket.
We squeezed up narrow staircases into attics, wandered through expansive halls and stood on boxes screwing up our eyes and searching through peepholes. We saw iron fillings marching miraculously in circles across a wall, while jellyfish-like balloons cascaded down stairwells. We got lost in the gardens and doubled back a few times after hearing whisperings about pieces we’d missed.
We skipped away lighter of pocket, but richer for being part of this inspiring occasion. The collection of paintings, sculpture, photography and film is open until December 18 at Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 – 37 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town. More info: http://www.michaelis.uct.ac.za/exhibitions/michaelis-graduate-exhibition-2013/