Graaff Reinet Artists Route
Graaff Reinet Artists Route

Artists Route


Artists Route Information

Put colour in your life…..

The mysteries of the Karoo have served as inspiration for great and varied artististic expression  over decades. The original great artists of the Karoo are the /Xam people, who for thousands of years painted their history, mythology, and literature on the cave and rock walls of their homes. It is estimated that there are more than 60 000 sites of cave paintings in the Karoo. They are the work of a forgotten people whose  paintings are their story.  Even today some of their descendants, the First People Artists, along with other potters, sculptors and painters, are living and creating art in the Camdeboo.

Graaff–Reinet has something for everyone when it comes to art, whether you want to marvel at magnificent paintings and sculptures, time-travel with rock-art, purchase a piece of art or take a craft souvenir home. Graaff-Reinet is home to the Hester Rupert Museum of Contemporary Art featuring famous South African artists and the Jan Rupert Art Centre.  The architecture, people and landscapes of this area make Graaff Reinet and its environs an ideal space to capture that one “special shot through your camera lens and you can even have your “masterpiece” developed and framed before you go home.

 Of course, a visit to the quaint village of Nieu Bethesda is not complete without spending time at the world-famous Owl House where the work of Helen Martins and the Bushman sculptor, Koos Malgas is displayed. A number of renowned artists such as sculptor, Frans Boekkooi, acclaimed SA ceramic artist, Charmaine Haines and renowned painter, Albert Redelinghuys, call this area home, while Athol Fugard has set many of his plays in Nieu Bethesda and often visits the area for inspiration. Galleries in the village have local artists’ works on display for all to enjoy or purchase.

In nearby Aberdeen  you will find the unique Biblical Panels housed in the Dutch Reformed Church Hall. These  panels were created by a group of five local ladies from various materials donated by the residents of Aberdeen. The detailed collages measure roughly four square metres in size. Having viewed these it is time to wander through the streets where you will discover  ceramics, glass works and other artistic surprises to serve as souvenirs of your trip to Aberdeen.

Allow the local creative folk of the Karoo to share their creative minds and show you their work in the form of painting, pottery, photography and other artistic creations. 

HESTER RUPERT ART MUSEUM

Church Street, Graaff-Reinet
Tel: 049 807 5700 

Twentieth-century South Arican Art

Mondays to Fridays 0900 - 12h30 and 14h00 - 17h00
Weekends and Public Holidays 09h00 - 12h00 
Closed on Christmas Day & Good Friday

JAN RUPERT CENTRE

Middle Street, Graaff-Reinet
Tel: 049 892 6107

"Art of the Space Age"

Mondays to Fridays 09h00 - 12h30 and 14h00 - 17h00
Weekends and Public Holidays 09h00 - 12h00
Closed on Christmas Day & Good Friday.

IMIBALA GALLERY 

Drostdy Hotel,Church Street
Tel: 049 8922161 

WINDMILL JUNCTION 

CNR Bourke & Somerset Streets
Tel: 049 891 0998 
Mondays to Fridays 08h00 - 17h00
Saturdays 08h00 - 13h00
Closed Sundays
Jewellery, home decor, furniture and loads more 

WORKPLACE FOR THE DISABLED

Industria Street, Industrial Area, Graaff-Reinet.
Tel: 049 8923 244
Mondays to Fridays 08h00 to 12h30
Closed saturdays and Sundays
Hand made crafts, wooden trays, boxes, wooden decor, mosaic work and loads more 

AFRICAN ADVENTURE

Cnr Church Street and Parsonage Streets, Graaff-Reinet.
Tel: 049 8925 116
Mondays to Fridays 08h00 to 13h00 - 14h00 to 17h00
Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays 08h00 - 13h00
African crafts and curios, jewellery and leather goods

OBESA POTTERY & MOSAICS

Tel: 082 9219 472
Contact Claudine for directions
Mondays to Thursdays 07h00 - 17h00
Fridays 07h00 - 14h30
Saturdays 07h00 - 13h00
Sundays closed 

ARTISTS ROUTE IN NIEU-BETHESDA

BETHESDA ART CENTRE

Local art, award-winning & locally made beautiful quilts on display
More info go to http://www.bethesdafoundation.org 

WARE ON EARTH GALLERY & CERAMICS

Acclaimed SA artist Charmaine Haines works within the realm of figurative clay, using abstract and stylised symbols and motives to embellish her sculptural and utility forms.  Martin Haines produces plates and platters in a rich peasant pottery style. 
049 8411 767  /  078 777 1966  /  info@charmainehaines.co.za

Acclaimed SA artist Charmaine Haines works within the realm of figurative clay, using abstract and stylised symbols and motives to embellish her sculptural and utility forms.  Martin Haines produces plates and platters in a rich peasant pottery style.
Tel:049 8411 767  /  078 777 1966
E-mail: info@charmainehaines.co.za

ART & PHOTOGRAPHIC COURSES AT GANORA GUEST FARM

Contact Hester Steynberg for more info
Tel:049 8411 302 

FRANS BOEKKOOI SCULPTURE STUDIO & GALLERY

Well-known sculptor Frans Boekkooi works from an old Blacksmith studio in Pienaar Street (next to the Brewery)Visitors are welcome to pop in and experience a working studio as well as looking at some of his work.
Contact: Heidi Boekkooi
Tel:        082 865 2699
E-mail:    heidibk@mweb.co.za
Web:      http://www.fransboekkooi.co.za
Open Mondays to Saturdays 09h00 - 17h00

HEIDI`S GALLERY & GIFTS

For more info go to http://www.nieubethesda.com

OWL HOUSE & HELEN MARTINS

Open daily 09h00 - 17h00, during December open from 08h00 - 17h00.
For more information go to http://www.owlhouse.co.za 

Helen Martins' Owl House, often cited as South Africa's finest example of outsider art, is an extraordinary, other-worldly home of concrete and ground glass sculptures. Her creativity conjures up an array of emotions: from wonder to excitement, curiosity and sadness.

The late Helen Martins dedicated the latter part of her life to transforming her ordinary Karoo home into a fanfare of colour and light. The result is The Owl House, and it's impact is such that visitors are variously awed, inspired, fascinated, calmed or perturbed by their visit, but never untouched.

Helen Martins grew up in Nieu Bethesda, leaving for only a few years during her youth. Her immense sensitivity, her unconventional love affairs and the fact that she had at least one abortion left her somewhat at odds with the strict Calvinist village around her. Increasingly, she hid herself away in her home. In the camel yard hangs the sign: "This is my world".

Over the years, she and various assistants (the most famous being Koos Malgas) worked to create a multi-coloured house and fantasy garden of concrete and ground glass sculptures. Inside the Owl House, walls are encrusted with ground glass, mirrors are placed to catch light at different times of day and lanterns and candles arranged to bounce their light onto the mirrors. In the Camel Yard, scores of statues - many of them wise men and camels - face East, towards a Mecca of sorts.

Shortly before she turned 79, Helen Martins ended her life by drinking caustic soda. The theories about her suicide are diverse; that her eyesight was failing because of damage from ground glass, that she had had an argument, that depression got the better of her.

In truth, the events of her life, the forces that drove her and the reasons for her decision to die are all something of a mystery. Every account offers a different interpretation (one of the most revealing is Sue Imrie Ross' This is my world and the most famous is Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca). What is certain though is that she left behind a startling and powerful vision of her world, a vision that is larger than life.

Entry costs R50 per person for adults and kids and R65 for a combo ticket for the Owl House and the Kitching Fossil Centre. Concessions are available

CEMENT OWL SCULPTURES & WIRE WORK

More info go to http://www.nieubethesda.com 

ARTISTS ROUTE IN ABERDEEN

 

Marguerite Beneke - Fused Glass Ware

Tel:049 8460 691
E-mail: beneke.pm@telkomsa.net 

Born in 1973, Glass artist, Marguerite Beneke, grew up in Pretoria. As a child she had a natural flair for art and spent many hours drawing whilst working in the corporate world as a trainer, she continued painting in acrylics and oils but also developed a keen interest in stained glass and glass etching. Soon she started doing commissions for work colleagues. 

In 2003, she and her husband decided to move away from the busy city life and settle in the quaint little Karoo town of Aberdeen. It is here that she started her full time career as a glass artist. Inspired by the Karoo she began trying to capture the atmosphere in her glass work. 

She had no formal art training. It took a few years of experimenting with different firing schedules, glass enamels and mediums to create her unique style of beautiful fused glass pieces. Marguerite considers herself a “constant student” and enjoys making trips to neighbouring Karoo towns to collect reference material and inspirations for new works. 

Her work is exhibited in galleries throughout South Africa and has been sold to international clients. She has done commissions for the South African Air Force and other corporate companies. 

I truly feel blessed to be able to use my God given talent to create work that brings joy to other people”

Biblical Panels

For more information go to http://www.aberdeencape.org

Born in 1973, Glass artist, Marguerite Beneke, grew up in Pretoria. As a child she had a natural flair for art and spent many hours drawing whilst working in the corporate world as a trainer, she continued painting in acrylics and oils but also developed a keen interest in stained glass and glass etching. Soon she started doing commissions for work colleagues.

In 2003, she and her husband decided to move away from the busy city life and settle in the quaint little Karoo town of Aberdeen. It is here that she started her full time career as a glass artist. Inspired by the Karoo she began trying to capture the atmosphere in her glass work.

She had no formal art training. It took a few years of experimenting with different firing schedules, glass enamels and mediums to create her unique style of beautiful fused glass pieces. Marguerite considers herself a “constant student” and enjoys making trips to neighbouring Karoo towns to collect reference material and inspirations for new works.

Her work is exhibited in galleries throughout South Africa and has been sold to international clients. She has done commissions for the South African Air Force and other corporate companies.

“I truly feel blessed to be able to use my God given talent to create work that brings joy to other people”



Artists Route Map


Artists Route Points of Interest

  • The twenty biblical scenes in the Dutch Reformed Church hall of Aberdeen were planned and lovingly created by mainly the senior citizens of the town. The scenes portray the history of God's Covenant with mankind. A group of five ladies - and for...
    Phone: 049 846 0161
  • Curios and gifts
    Phone: 049 892 5116
  • The Neo-Gothic building in Middle Street was originally a place of worship for the Mantatees, a refugee Sotho tribe that had fled south across the Orange River in the 1820’s. The Jan Rupert centre has at present on exhibition "Jean...
    Phone: 049 892 6107
  • Owl House More Info
    Nieu Bethesda
    Helen Martins lay ill in bed one night with the moon shining in through the window and considered how dull and grey her life had become. She resolved there and then, that she would strive to bring light and colour into her life. That simple decision...
    Phone: 049 841 1733
  • Located in Church Street, Graaff-Reinet, is housed in the fifth oldest church building in South Africa. It was built and consecrated as a Dutch Reformed Mission Church in 1821, 35 years after the founding of the village of Graaff-Reinet in 1786.
    Phone: 049 807 5700
    Visit Website

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