Thursday, November 19, 2020

A Visit to the Norval

We have been meaning to go to the Norval Foundation Art Gallery in Constantia to renew our annual memberships and a sunny day this week got us moving. The Arts suffered badly during the Covid lock down and our membership ran out in February. They have changed things slightly; the membership is now two tier and there is no separate Pensioner membership. We opted for the entry level one which costs R110 pa and gives unlimited entry during the year but no free parking, reduction on your restaurant bill or other perks, which we shall miss
Full membership costs are as follows
Membership: R350 - Free entrance for the cardholder
Membership +1; R650 - Free entrance for the card holder and a guest
Membership +3: R950 - Free entrance for the card holder and three guests
You renew your membership at the desk in the foyer or on line. When we got there the sun had rather gone behind a cloud, so it was a good day for an art exhibition or two. In fact they have three on at the moment
Last time we came, this beautiful window was hidden by a complex wooden structure artwork
Now you can see the window in all its beauty
The details of each piece of the window
A photographic exhibit was next
All the photos were of the same person, the artist, and gave a good perspective of how we see ourselves and others. Some were challenging, others tried to be controversial, and some were very beautiful indeed. We prefer not to publish photographs of other photographers work, so no detailed reproductions here and we encourage you to see thw photographs for yourself. In addition, it is a cohesive body of work and is better seen as a whole rather than piecemeal
An extraordinary man, sadly now deceased, who learned to carve from his father and, when he became a lay preacher, he carved many religious icons with his own symbolic interpretations. It was absolutely fascinating to see his ideas and how he made carvings of bible stories from his conception of them and mixed his Shangaan culture. Many were so skilled, others challenged one and many impressed. Especially when they were carvings made from whole trees! But his detailed carvings of small things like the walking sticks were also excellent
Headrests and walking sticks
Four versions of the crucifix
And carvings with African symbolism
We loved his fish
The gallery window had been left unobstructed to let in the wonderful Northern light and there are good views
across the garden, the Steenberg wine estate’s vineyards and Table Mountain under the clouds
His depiction of God is on the right
Many had biblical connections
He certainly was very prolific
Putting them into context with his background
More of those wonderful fish and other animals
Having spent a couple of hours on our feet, we needed sustenance, so we made our way to the Skotnes restaurant
The menu. It was late when we got there, past 2.30, but they confirmed that they were still serving lunch. We wanted something simple like a sandwich, but the compact menu does not have these. So it was a meal or nothing. Until, later, we discovered that we could order tea and scones. Some of these items seem quite expensive, especially as you have to order chips in addition to your hamburger or add ons for the burger or the Caesar salad
Sadly, there were no tables available. We were shown to the small lounge area, ordered two beers and waited. It seems that many people had come for lunch and had settled down for the afternoon. Not much movement. But finally, about half an hour later, we did get a table next to the window. Service was a little slow; perhaps they had a busy lunch service
A new addition to the sculpture garden! There are good views of the garden from the restaurant
It was drizzling, so not many people ventured out
By then Lynne just fancied tea and scones but, sadly, was told that there were no scones
So she ordered the almond cake and Earl Grey tea. She was served English Breakfast
The tea comes with a very hard ginger nut. Bite carefully
John ordered the hamburger and a side order of chips. He asked for crisp chips and had to return the first serving
for another round in the deep fryer. He did give Lynne some of his burger to taste and some of the chips. Good burger
The chips that returned were much better
Lynne's almond torte and "Earl Grey" English Breakfast
Our bill

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