When pulling yourself through a typically heavy-headed Friday afternoon, remember that the Hemel en Aarde Valley is only one and a half hours away from Cape Town. This wine-obsessed, secluded micro-cosmos is a perfect weekend destination, with great opportunities to hike, mountain bike, and reconnect with family and friends. Oh, and have I mentioned the […]
I have captured the olive oil making process at Mardouw in Swellendam, South Africa – from handpicked harvest to bottling – in this short photographic story.
… I entered, no longer feeling the usual rebellious discomfort, and sat down in one of the lecture rooms. And then I saw me in the crowd, my younger version, and I went up to him, me, and spoke …
I don’t know what attracts me so inevitably about the Karoo, but I feel my feet grow roots every time I stand on its dusty moon-scaped soil.
The most difficult thing about travel writing, is the writing. Where does one find the time? When there is so much happening, when all your senses are being overwhelmed, and “living in the moment” is a matter of breathing and moving, where and when does one sit down and write?
Locking myself up in my home studio on a South African farm for a year, I wrote and recorded Unlike Me in an attempt to bring together my passion for guitar music and my fascination with electronic sound production.
Tasting my way through South Africa’s Pinot Noirs, I make notes and share my appreciation along the way.
Every year, South Africa’s south-western landscapes turn into tapestries of lush, colourful fynbos and flowers. I captured the magic of this seasonal phenomenon at Bartholomeus Klip in the Riebeek Valley on my camera.
My first electronic release, a collection of very laid-back, electronic dub drops. In the early seventies, reggae artists starting putting out instrumental and heavily processed song versions on the B sides of their singles. Extensive use of reverb and delay with an emphasis on a melodic bassline created a laid-back, ambient form of reggae. This became known as dub.
Life’s a driverless bus ride. Without a map, it’s all about the passengers.
Roman artichoke, as they serve it at Cajo e Gajo in my favourite area in Rome, Trastevere.
I love photos that have multiple, layered interpretations. At first, you see an abstract image of what seems like television static. When your eyes have adjusted, you start seeing the actual photo.
Creative photoshoot for Mardouw Olive Estate in Swellendam, on my wooden kitchen table, in natural late afternoon sunlight. I love how the late sun turns the oil into warm liquid gold.
… I listened like the eager learner I was, and felt exhilarated at finding my first key to understanding music. It was the opposite of composing, a mirror to layering melodies and rhythms, deconstructing a composition to its building blocks. Composing in reverse …
Advertisement for premium olive oil. The fusion of champagne glasses, gold coloured oil and a fresh olive branch depicts the “premium” aspect of this “natural” product in one strong image.
Designing wine labels for boutique wine farm Ameera in Stellenbosch, South Africa, is always a dynamic collaboration with owner Marc. While Marc suggests broad ideas (and decides on final concepts), I work out the creative layouts. I love the clean lines on these labels, rather unusual in an industry steeped in conservative traditions.
It seems hard to define what constitutes “the Karoo” exactly. It’s a rather loose concept, and many people seem to have their own idea of what defines “the Karoo”.
Out of a list of various proposals, Ellen chose this logo – a creative display of interlinking wedding rings with a modern font to exude class and Europe inspired style. The overall rectangular shape of the logo exudes authority and sincerity. www.ellenchristiaen.com
JA Clift (Pty) Ltd was founded in 1906 and is the oldest monumental and granite contracting businesses in southern Africa. I was contracted to capture the granite processing, from the quarry up on the Paarl mountain to the factory in Concordia Street in Paarl.
When everything around you seems dead ‘n dust, the warmth of the people around you feels so much more intense. Maybe that’s why I love the Karoo so much. That, and Prince Albert …
The new look for the Mardouw Olive Product range showcases Mardouw’s dedication to produce proudly South African olive products of superior quality, in harmony with nature.
A collection of 10 electronic songs. “Ethereal trip-hop strip teases, retro coffee bar jazzy flows, enigmatic dub drifts and crafted classical sighs make ideal ear candy for a late night romantic rendez-vous, stylish dinner parties or lazy Sunday lunches. An unchallenging listen, but then hey, duvet day soundtracks seldom sound more stylish,” wrote GQ magazine’s music reviewer.
Living in Africa, with its wide open spaces, I felt intrigued by Europe’s network of alleys during my latest visit to Ghent, Belgium.
There is something about the soil in Africa. Honesty. Love and respect for the earth we walk on. Dig our hands in. Grow our food in. Have our children play with. In touch with Mother Earth. In touch with ourselves …
The smell of freshly cut grass. Golden-ripe wheat. Sprouting-green corn. Whiffs of insecticides and freshly ploughed mud that has fallen off tractor tyres and is now, here I walk, lining the narrow streets in scattered, double-lined patterns. It all takes me back to my childhood. One sniff at a time.
A collection of 10 electronic songs. “Very reminiscent of both Massive Attack and Air,” wrote Future Music in the UK. “The production is top notch. The thick pads give a really nice, relaxed, almost meditative quality to the album, and this is only enhanced by the vocals.”
One of my favourite pictures of my latest trip to Belgium. Pickled eggs at Jigger’s in Ghent. To be had with one of their uniquely hand-mixed cocktails. When food meets design …
Keep track of what’s on in the Cape Winelands, South Africa. Winelands Web lists and promotes events that take place in the Cape Winelands and promote a region, community, cultural, sports, culinary or other activities in the Cape Winelands.
Particularly happy with this logo for an upmarket residence in Franschhoek, South Africa. I love logos that allow for multiple, layered perceptions. The number 16 is visible, but may at first sight be interpreted as an abstract, plant-like graphic.
A slightly over-exposed photo of our two daughters at the beach. The light, pastel colours give the image an almost ethereal quality, while the girls’ postures imply energy and movement.
I develop and manage brand images and marketing tools for selected clients in the tourism, food and wine industries, creating engaging stories for Online Brand Ambassadors in Paarl, South Africa …
Creative photoshoot for Mardouw Olive Estate in Swellendam, on my wooden kitchen table, in natural late afternoon sunlight.
Forest Moon is the result of a year-long collaboration with music producer Greg Gordon. “Forest Moon is an unassuming and gentle slice of melodic acoustic tunes with scattered rock and world influences, all embellished with soft vocals and harmonies and lush but not overdone string and vocal harmony arrangements,” wrote SA Rock Digest.
An insignificant number. Nothing much has changed in the last 20 years, really. I’m still finding out who the fuck I am and what makes me tick …
Commercial photo shoot for Thokozani and Diemersfontein, Wellington