Driving through the Breedekloof Valley, one experiences many things: awe at the tremendous natural beauty, but also a feeling of attuned perspective. Engulfed by magnificent mountains, one cannot help but feel… small.
Nestled between the Slanghoek and Du Toitskloof Mountains and at the foothills of the Hex River Mountains, the Breedekloof Valley is a glimpse at one of the Cape’s most breathtaking areas. Just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, we made our way through picturesque farmland (armed with our roadtrip coffee and aircon – to balance things out) to experience ‘Art in the Heart of the Breedekloof: A Wine, Art and Cultural Experience’. The area is home to some of the friendliest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, award-winning wines and now, to extend the offering, art.
Art in the Heart of the Breedekloof is a celebration of a lifestyle lived there, where heritage, culture, people, wine and art meet. Participating cellars have been given this platform to express their unique stories in a visual form, opening their farms and galleries to visitors. An important feature to this experience is community inclusion – reaching out to all within the community. The tactile exhibition at Slanghoek Gallery, co-curated by local artists Cornè Theron and Angeline Le Roux, is one such example. A collaboration with the Institute for the Blind, it aspires to make art accessible to the blind. This initiative is a first for South Africa, and notably so. Other exhibiting artists have been specifically chosen from across South Africa, and include the likes of international award winning painter Renè Snyman, Hanien Conradie, Michelle-Lize van Wyk and David Reade. Some works in private collections are also on show, including the works of South African master, Adriaan Boshoff.
Art in the Heart of the Breedekloof aims to draw the visitor into becoming part of the culture, experiencing the life lived there. It attempts to highlight its strong community bonds, and among many other things, it succeeds in doing just that. We were heartwarmingly welcomed into each cellar, and proudly told the stories of the farms, the wine, the artists and treated as though we were long last friends. Amidst wine tasting, simple but delicious luncheons and the perusal of art, it’s a Cape meander I can’t recommend enough.
To take part in the experience, I suggest you start at Slanghoek Gallery at the Slanghoek Mountain Resort, and proceed through the wine route, stopping at participating cellars. Some cellars will have permanent exhibitions with others focusing on event-based exhibitions featuring individual artists. For a full list of participating cellars and forthcoming exhibitions visit breedekloof.com.
Contact +27 23 349 1791, [email protected]
Photographs Lisa Wallace, courtesy