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Tuesday, October 2, 2012


(Garth Duffield and Vanessa Dube from Role Models)

What is the boundary between Fashion and Art? Is Food a Fashion? Is it an Art? Does commercialism cheapen or value Fine Art? Can a brand be artful? How can Art engage the public in a world of instant messaging? These are some of the questions that audiences will be asked to confront this coming Saturday (October 6) at the inaugural Fashion and Art Against Thunder: RE:BOOT event

In an evening filled with fashion, food, theatre, fine art and music, the popular and quaint St Clement’s venue will be transformed into an Adult Wonderland where guests will be invited to interact, confront and question the installations on show. Artists, designers and performers around Durban are dreaming up unique ways to ‘upset the applecart’ and entertain an enlightened audience often dulled by the complete onslaught of the media and popular culture.

Fashion and Art against Thunder is the brainchild of local entrepreneur and chef extraordinaire, Jason Turner; and actor/ writer turned model agent, Ian Gareth Hadfield – who have decided to pool their talents in a collective environment to re-invigorate the local arts and hospitality industry. Jason is well-known amongst local food aficionados as the chef with passion and flair, having made a name for himself at illustrious venues such as 9th Avenue Bistro, Plum, Café Jiran and most recently Bertoua Café Lounge. Ian has built on his career as a performer and writer, having appeared in numerous theatre productions around the country, by establishing his talent agency, Role Models, both in Johannesburg and Durban.

“Durban, as a cultural centre, has the rather odd reputation of being progressive and forward in terms of food and the arts; yet, at the same time, strangely reticent in pushing this progressive agenda,” says Turner. “In addition, we all know that times are hard and trend analysis tells us that we need to take a fresh approach towards the way we engage with, and present, our food and entertainment. Around the world there is a huge movement towards the concept of ‘pop up’ as a way of presenting challenging culinary experiments in an environment that is willing to take on this challenge without breaking the bank should the ideas not appeal to a general public palette.’

“Coming from an arts background,” continues Hadfield, “ we all know that emerging artists in all disciplines are often constrained in terms of the platforms available to them. Jason and I then decided to put our heads together to create a series of events that allow us to combine our skills to create a unique an unforgettable experience for those who wish to be exposed to cutting edge experiments in across the board disciplines. This brought us to the question of where the extreme boundaries of the concept of ‘Art’ exist and ultimately: ‘What can become Art’ and then ‘What is Art becoming’.’

“It all sounds terribly serious,” adds Turner, “but in fact a large part of our brief to our participants was just to have fun and take your audience on an exciting journey! And we have certainly had fun putting this event together.”

Audiences can expect to taste a variety of different molecular gastronomy experiments and unusual and non-mainstream wines. Fine artists will both be exhibiting and creating works within the space. Models will show clothing that pushes the envelope in terms of construction and styling. Dancers will present performance interventions that question movement. Poets and actors will perform and musicians will engage with projections and cinema. Live tattooing and performance installations will all combine to create a unique and unforgettable experience for all who attend.

Fashion and Art Against Thunder: RE:BOOT takes place at St. Clements Garden Café, 191 Musgrave Road, between 19h00 and 22h00.Tickets available from St. Clements or by phoning Jason on 084 606 0846 or Ian on 072 708 5535.