Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Balmy days, arty adventures and evenings of luxury

Maybe it's the fresh sea air … the balmy ocean breathes a mystical creativity into the souls of each person it touches. Maybe it's the holiday atmosphere that seems to permeate the very fabric of the city. The air is thick with creativity, with an indolence that delivers the cognitive bandwidth so vital to true artistic expression. Or perhaps it's the amazing Durban curry firing up those creative juices.

Whatever it may be, there's no denying that Durban is a creative hub, a mecca of sorts for the artistic heart. There's little finer than a decadent day spent in Durban's enchanting galleries and art centres.

We've curated a list of the must-see stops for our aesthetically-motivated guests:

AFRICAN ART CENTRE | 94 Florida Road, Durban

True to its name, the African Art Centre showcases the work of both new and established black artists in its charming spot, nestled in the heart of Durban. Styles cover the spectrum from print-making to bead work, woodwork to textiles, sculpture to ceramics. Visit them online to find out more.

ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE | 22 Sutton Cresent, Morningside, Durban

The Alliance Française is a non-profit organisation focused on promoting French culture around the world. Their beautifully curated gallery supports work by local artistes and often plays host to travelling installations with a Gallic flavour. See more on their website.


Andrew Walford takes the inspiration for his beautiful porcelain and stoneware from the lush nature surrounding his home studio in the inigenous Shongweni Nature Reserve, on the banks of the dam of the same name. His unique style and attention to detail have gained him international renown, and a trip to his gallery (by appointment only) is well worth it. Pair your visit with a trip to Durban's local micro-breweries and get an all-day adventure to appeal to both your inner art patron and foodie. Both Robertson's and Quill's micro-breweries are an easy drive from the Walford Studio.

THE ART ROOM | 3A Chartwell Centre, Chartwell Drive, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban

The Art Room is just minutes from your luxurious home base at Anchor's Rest, and exhibits works by leading and emerging South African artists. Masterpieces in oils, digital graphics, mixed media and sculptures in bronze, wood and bone offer a range of artistry to suit every temperament.


Conventionally, the word artisan describes a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand. The Artisan Contemporary Gallery has taken the true meaning of the word and expanded it to include an acronym for ART In South Africa Now. Artisan's collection is an eclectic mix of fine art prints, original paintings, collage, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, glassware, textiles and wood. The range is a sensory treat and conveniently located near some of the trendiest coffee shops in town.

ARTSPACE DURBAN | 3 Millar Road, Stamford Hill, Durban

ArtSpace combines a visual arts exhibition gallery with dedicated artist studio spaces. Artists, and anyone interested in developing contemporary visual arts, have the opportunity to use the space for exhibitions, marketing, sales and venue hire. It's a tranquil space, with light filtered through the greenery of neighbouring trees, and an underlying buzz of creative energy. Visit their website or just pootle along for an exquisite artistic experience.

BAT CENTRE 45 Maritime Place, Small Craft Harbour, Durban

No discussion of Durban's most arty is complete without  mentioning the famous BAT centre. This non-profit centre, originating from a grant by the Bartel Arts Trust, exhibits temporary shows by young, mainly black artists and craftspeople. It encourages first-timers in the Democratic Gallery and more established artists in the Menzi Mchunu Gallery. Housed in a converted wharfside building, it has a café and overlooks the harbour. It is also a popular venue for music gigs.

DURBAN ART GALLERY | Second floor, City Hall, Smith Street, Durban

Durban's stately and elegant City Hall is home to the Durban Art Gallery and features a permanent collection of Victorian and contemporary South African art. While the focus of the collection now concentrates for the most part on demonstrating South Africa's rich cultural heritage, the European collection is a treat for afficionados as well. Donated in 1920, the collection includes British, French and Dutch paintings, objets d'art such as French and Chinese ceramics, early glass vases by Lalique and bronzes by Rodin. Website

FAT TUESDAY GALLERY | Bellevue Campus, 5 Bellevue Road, Kloof

As you head back from the Walford Studio, stop in at the renowned Fat Tuesday Gallery in Kloof. The arboreal feel of the open plan setting lends a timeless quality to the display, which features a photography primarily, although traditional and new media art works are welcome, too. Ceramics, books and vintage collectibles  round out the collection and offer the ideal stop for the whimsical traveller. Every item is unique and desirable – the perfect solution to that old “what-should-I-buy-my-friends-back-home” dilemma. Their quirky website is a treat as well. Visit it here.

IMBIZO GALLERY | Shop 7A, Ballito Lifestyle Centre, Ballito - (032) 946 1937

The M4 wends it winsome way north from the bustling heart of Umhlanga, home town of Anchor's Rest, to the growing metropolis of Ballito. Here's where you'll find the well-known Imbizo Gallery. Imbizo features paintings by leading local artists in a wide range of style, as well as a remarkable range of bronzes and pots. Their up-to-date website includes news of latest exhibitions.

KIZO ART CONSULTANTS AND ART GALLERY | Shop G350, Palm Boulevard, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Umhlanga, Durban - (031) 566 4324

Umhlanga's popular Gateway Theatre of Shopping offers so much more than just chic shopping and retail therapy galore. It also houses the renowned Kizo Art Gallery, owned and curated by experienced couple Craig and Barbra Mark. This artistically-motivated couple has over 20 years of experience, including coordinating exhibitions in the USA, the UK, India, Switzerland and for the UN. Kizo is actively involved in creating and promoting arts awareness programmes, including KZN's premier arts festival: The Heritage Arts Festival.

KZNSA GALLERY | 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, Durban 

KZNSA Gallery is a non-profit gallery serving the members of the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts. The gallery's appealing space was designed by an award-winning architect and showcases masterpieces by established local and national artists on a well-organised rotation (see website). Up -and-coming artists and established experts are given the opportunity to showcase their work.

Unwind in Style

After filling your creative tank, immersing your soul in the creative expressions of others, heading for the comforts of Anchor's Rest's beautifully appointed Cheetah Room. Replete with all you need for a luxurious, private escape, you'll feel right at home in this traditional African-inspired space. The comfortable sleeping area opens onto a fully equipped kitchenette. From there, the room flows out onto an inviting shady patio adjoining a verdant lawn bordered by lush indigenous Durban foliage.

Watch the sunset over this tranquil garden space, relax on the sumptuous sofa in the lounge, or stretch out on the generously-proportioned bed, with its comfortably-padded headboard. Stretch back and watch TV, read a book, or just take some hard-earned down time.

We've got your room ready. All you need to do is book. Call us today on 031 561 7380 or visit our website to book: www.AnchorsRest.co.za.

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