Gallery under water

In 2006 artist, Jason de Caires Taylor created the world’s first underwater sculpture park in Grenada, West Indies and Cancun, Mexico.

He gets asked ‘Why would you put sculptures underwater?’ Well personally, I don’t see why not, is it not just a new viewing platform, a gallery with a much larger range of distance and angles to view from? This is one thing that could convince me to dig through my cupboards to pull out my old PADI certification and dive again. I mean, fish and coral are beautiful and all, but this to me is quite magical and mysterious.

It is also part of the process for coral and algae to use these sculptures as artificial reefs and part of their beauty is their transformation by nature over time.

The Lost Correspondent

One of my favourites is “Man on Fire’ – takes the ‘Burning Man’ concept to a whole other level. Uh, that would be, below sea level… *cough*  ‘The cement figure has 75 holes planted with live cuttings of fire coral (Millepora alcicorni). This is a fast growing marine organism, yellow, orange and brown in colour which emits a painful stinging sensation when touched, thus reflecting its name and the title of the sculpture. It is anticipated that over time the figure will appear to be on fire underwater.’

Man on Fire

Many of the figures are casts of the local community, those that volunteer to be immortalised. Also, this whole project was funded by Jason himself, who sold his house to realise this dream. Check out this haunting video on YouTube of the sculptures in Grenada. 

http://www.underwatersculpture.com  for more info.

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Wedding Jitters

Last month I shot my first full length wedding… SOLO! Thank you to Em & Geoff for entrusting me with capturing their momentous occasion!


The entire event was held in Hout Bay, the ceremony in a lovely little stone church, romantic pics in the harbour followed by an intimate family reception at the bride’s parents home.

All image rights reserved

Postcards from Cape Town

34 days until the world comes to South Africa to celebrate in the name of football. I’ve always been very proud of my country and especially my most beautiful hometown, Cape Town.  I gained more perspective on our unique cultures, diversities, spirit and beauty when I had the opportunity to live in the UK for a few years. Since I’ve returned, I’ve been inspired to create some fun illustrations of the places in Cape Town we are all such fans of.

Chakalaka Designs - Image © Jesse Kramer

They are currently being sold as postcards in various art & bookshops in the city and this morning I opened the paper to find an article by Antjie Krog, acclaimed author and poet, comparing an original representation of the Cape in 1777 to my postcard of 2010!

Here are some excerpts from her article:

‘The Vendors at the traffic light crossing towards Cavendish Square were the first to see the economic potential of visualizing Cape Town’s soccer stadium.

But it was only when the first postcard appeared that it hit one between the eyes: both the postcard and the vendor paintings made use of the old and first colonial visualizations of what later grew into a city.

In one of the earliest engravings (1777), titled Prospect of the Cape of Good Hope, several elements were being enlarged or reduced, confirming that maps, drawings and paintings of places are never meant to be accurate. Things are manipulated to symbolize something.  In this engraving it was “prospects”!

The lively postcard, similarly, had been drawn from the same position, albeit more elevated. The sailing vessel has become a yacht. The mountain is tamed into its friendly linked-into-one, famous, flat cliché embracing a jumble of cheerful First World architecture.

Domination of the Cape is complete: people walk on the mountain and hang glide from its cliffs. The sky has a sunny sun, the sea is domesticated to a pollution-ed grey housing whales and foamy boat wakes.

Once again, imagination is used to try and rationalize a link between the stadium and the experiences of Capetonians living in a much divided city. Once again we do it from the outside looking in and we see ourselves all mixed and happy in the “prospects” of WC2010.’

Written by Antjie Krog

Cape Times,   7 May 2010

For more info on Chakalaka Designs, you can visit the facebook page  <www.facebook.com/chakalakadesigns>

follow our progress on twitter < http://www.twitter.com/ChakalakaDesign&gt;

Or go to the website, <www.chakalakadesigns.co.za>

Postcards are currently stocked at Heartworks (Gardens & Biscuit Mill); Wordsworth (Gardens Centre); Mandela Rhodes Place Rainbow Experience; Balletique; The Book Lounge

All images © Jesse Kramer