As humanity seemingly heads towards extinction it’s hard not to be completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of climate change. Don’t feel gloomy.  With arteBOTANICA’s inaugural showcase taking place at NIROX Sculpture Park on Saturday, South Africans have the opportunity to celebrate the relationship between art, fashion, music and nature –  in style. The event is curated by co-founder and director, artist Manthe Ribane. Her programme aims to examine ‘the values of self-adornment and beautification’.

Activists and ethical fashionistas attending the arteBOTANICA event are encouraged to morph into the surrounding nature by wearing white and neutrals. November may technically be springtime but the dress code is (noticeably) not listed green, given the climate crisis induced drought in the area.

The ambitious arteBOTANICA line-up of artists’ fuses some of the best of the motherland’s diverse, artistic talent and includes fashion, design, photography, performance, food, sculpture and music. The all-day event promises to appeal to all four senses: sight, sound, smell and touch.

Highlights include the talented knitwear label Maxhosa Africa (Laduma Ngxokolo) whose recent debut at New York Fashion Week signaled his first foray into the fashion world beyond Africa. Also in the spotlight is creative director, style reporter and photographer Trevor Stuurman whose restyling of the African narrative kicked off the New Year with a bang: in January this year, while the nation was still recovering from New Year hangovers Trevor’s Afropunk Festival Johannesburg images were being published in the British Vogue.

Johannesburg-based visual artist Mary Sibande whose work was recently exhibited as part of New York exhibition ‘Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the body (1300 – Now) at The Met Breuer and whose pieces have been purchased by the National Museum of African Art in Washington DC (a Smithsonian Institution) features.

So does the highly visible visual artist, Nandipha Mntambo. Nandipha fittingly uses natural, organic materials and is famous for her mixed-media approach and focus on the human female body and identity.

Lezanne VIVIERS of VIVIERS Studio in collaboration with visual artist Marlene Steyn allows guests a taste of the duo’s art and fashion fusion, fresh and direct from the recently launched Lotus House gallery space, studio and concept store. VIVIERS fashion shows border on performance art and are presently the most sought after fashion event invites in the country.

Landscape painting re-mixer Gabrielle Kruger and artist David Brits are on the programme as are talented composers, performers and musicians namely: Congo-born musician Tresor, South African composer Carlo Mombelli, Urban Village lead singer Tubatsi Moloi (presenting a solo project) and composer, singer-songwriter from East London, Msaki and Noirwave protege Petite Noir and RhaRha Nembhard, performance artist Tebogo Ribane, fashion designer Wanda Lephoto, natural and organic ‘nose’ (perfumer) Tammy Frazer, Lampost Agency superstar photographer Justin Dingwall, Katharien de Villiers and Sash, collective DearRibane, Kay Kay Ribane, and with thanks to the Swedish Embassy, the left-field addition of Swedish stylist and costume designer for stage, stills and movies, Nina Sandström.

Blurring fabrication and fashion, South African designer Jacques van der Watt’s Black Coffee presents elements of his new collection. Furthermore visiting guests get to see what creative director Amy Zama is up to as well as collaborators Good Good Good, film director Imraan Christian and sample a fashion and architecture mash-up via Unathi Mkonto, Sthandiwe Kgoroge and Ella Buter.

The full-day at the sculpture park closes with an outdoor evening catwalk and musical performance by members of the Johannesburg Philharmonic in which Ribane, NIROX and the orchestra discovered new-world ways within the cradle of humankind location to use the park’s amphi-theatre.

  • arteBOTANICA is on Saturday 9 November 2019 at NIROX Sculpture Park between 10am – 7pm
  • Book tickets here
  • Images supplied