Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Lunch and artworks at The Norval Foundation

We attended a function at the Norval Foundation Gallery in Constantia late last year and wanted to go back and have lunch at Skotnes restaurant and see the gallery. We headed there this week but, unfortunately, picked a bad week to see the art. All the galleries were closed as exhibitions were changing . However we had a great lunch, became Members and had a good walk in the garden and a small tour inside. Becoming a member is easy, and has real benefits. You get free entrance for a year and discounts in the restaurant and in the shop.
The building is very impressive. Designed by architect Derick Henstra, "it is in horizontal mode rather than high rise", we were told by gallery staff
We love the wide open spaces, the different shapes, curves and textures in the building, perfect for displaying art
The innovative reception area
The shop is filled with well-designed things to buy
including Skotnes Wines
The restaurant has a separate entrance outside the main gallery
Reservations are recommended
Spacious and light inside
Sunny with shade outside, but you have to book to sit on the terrace
A walkway through the reeds and a house of one of the owners with sculptures by Eduardo Villa
Good beer on tap
Attractive table settings
It became busy
Made for the restaurant by Deux Frères  Lynne had a glass with her lunch
The lunch menu
Bread sticks served with butter and a vegetable purée
A refreshing ale from Jack Black
Nice touches, cloth napkins
Lynne ordered the classic Caesar Salad with soft boiled eggs, boccarones, and smoked salmon
The melba toast replaced the croutons. It was a large and satisfying portion
While the wooden bowl is very attractive, serving a salad in it does present a challenge
when you have to cut the ingredients into mouth sized portions. We did mention this to the restaurant
John had the hamburger with crisp, triple cooked fries
and a good double espresso which came with a crisp biscuit
Some tourists from Europe drinking Aperol
Our bill. They took off the second portion of salmon which we had not ordered
The open kitchen is on the side of the restaurant, near the entrance
We wondered what the bin was for
until we saw the other side
And people do. Local and foreign currency
There was a tour at 2 and our very friendly and informative guide was Ally Martinez,
who gave us brief walk past views of the new exhibitions in the galleries being set up to open soon
The artist who designed Structural Response III, the thicket, barrier, bewilderment of wood filling the atrium space
It is quite profound in meaning
His installation. It is not permanent and will be removed in a few months time and replaced with another installation
This will be the On the Mines by David Goldblatt from 13 February
At the end of the corridor is Gallery 8, where the exhibition will be Labour of Many: Ibrahim Mahama February 13th
Gallery One will have the Collectors Focus:
Nudes in The Sanlam Art Collection February 13th
Art books in the library
Concerts are held in this small amphitheatre in the garden
The serving staff were very friendly, efficient and helpful
A view of the sculpture garden from the balcony upstairs
In the centre you can see Victor Ehikhamenor's Isimagodo (The Unknowable)
Lynne really liked this sculpture by Sydney Kumalo
You get a view of the back of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak from the terrace
It’s a lot of bull! We love the irony and the wit
Great from all angles
Riding on the back of an ape
The wetlands are filled with leopard toads, which you can hear making their music at sundown
A stupendous sculpture. Angus Taylor’s Holderstebolder (2018), created entirely out of Belfast granite, steel and concrete
which the children are encouraged to climb all over
Looking back at the Norval Institute
And wonderful aged gums give shade to some of the sculptures
There is an army of gardeners working in this well designed space
Dancing rabbits by Guy du Toit
Real reflections from Mark Swart’s Voyage
With ship like curves
And Ophelia in Africa, based on Sir John Everett Millais, work. Nandipha Mntambo’s 2015 sculpture
In Mntambo’s interpretation of Ophelia, a character in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the artist places herself in the role
Different from many angles is Wim Botha's Prism (Flush)

No comments: