The start of the summer season in the Cape Winelands has coincided with the opening in October 2023 of Boschendal X Brundyn, an inspiring exhibition space bringing a considered, ever-changing selection of art to engage visitors at this historic and much-loved working farm. Having briefly closed during the winter months, Boschendal’s former Manor House gallery has emerged with a more pronounced offering of exhibitions and educational events in partnership with art consultancy Brundyn Arts & Culture (BA&C), positioning the space as a primary art destination for art lovers and collectors.
Elana Brundyn’s illustrious 25-year-long career from being a gallerist to becoming museum director and esteemed art consultant has established her as a force in the art milieu in South Africa. Brundyn’s ability to identify talent in artists and her capacity to make intuitively-led, tailored connections at all levels – from collectors to stakeholders – have contributed to her being internationally renowned in her field.
Since her previous posts as founding CEO of Norval Foundation and Director of Institutional Advancement and External Affairs at Zeitz MOCAA, Brundyn’ established Brundyn Arts and Culture in 2023, an art consultancy with the aim to leave a more pronounced impact within the arts, both on the African continent and abroad.
Taking pride of place on the farm’s oak-shaded Werf, the Manor House previously served as a satellite exhibition space for Cape Town’s Norval Foundation, a programme spearheaded by BA&C’s Elana Brundyn. The newly refreshed space with its exciting roster of shows and associated projects establishes the Boschendal X Brundyn exhibition space as an unmissable stop on the burgeoning Stellenbosch and Franschhoek art circuit. And it’s one welcoming a wide and diverse audience, a sentiment underlined from the greeting on the doormat (‘art is for everyone’) to the uplifting experience of exploration and discovery visitors can look forward to both inside and beyond the walls of the exhibition space.
“Boschendal’s accessibility, beautiful location, and incredible facilities make it a draw card for people from near and far. It’s one of the many reasons this is not an exhibition space aimed only at an art audience, but at the general public. Visitors might stumble on the space by chance, and then be intrigued by what they see,” says Brundyn.
The Manor House provides a captivating counterpoint to the art on show, with its classic Cape Dutch-style architecture and peppering of antique pieces referencing the farm’s rich heritage. A light renovation has introduced new elements to augment the flow through its rooms, such as a lounge for musing over the art and admiring the scenery while sipping a glass of Boschendal MCC or sharing a cheese platter. Elsewhere, an inviting cabinet-lined room presents a covetable offering of gift items, books and artworks for sale, including small sculptures or maquettes by artists like Frank van Reenen and Githan Coopoo. Playful elements abound, including surprise pops of humour on the bathroom walls courtesy of Coopoo’s wallpaper print.
There’s further diversion to be found in the profusion of sculptures revealed in and around the exhibition space, with pieces chosen to engage with its architectural language and the farm’s natural surrounds and history. Meandering through its gardens and public areas, a sculpture route complete with a map will evolve and grow as new works are introduced. Some will be retained from specific Boschendal x Brundyn exhibitions, with up to five shows in the offering annually.
The lineup is in keeping with BA&C’s primary focus on multidisciplinary artists from Southern Africa and its diaspora, and its foregrounding of emerging talent as much as established names. Aligned with the spirit of the new season, the exhibition space launched with two complementary shows by Gabrielle Kruger and Peter Cohen, both informed by the natural world. Late November will see a group show featuring artists such as Igshaan Adams, Pierre Fouche, Lukhanyo Mdingi and others working with textiles and playing with materiality. A dazzling solo exhibition by Lebohang Kganye will run from mid-January and coincide with the Cape Town Art Fair.
There are more projects underway under the Boschendal X Brundyn banner. An artist residency programme is being vaunted, with artists invited to engage with the land, the dynamics of the working farm, and its heritage to create a body of work to be shown at the exhibition space. Boschendal X Brundyn will also serve as a catalyst space for creative discussion and interventions in subjects close to the farm, bringing together artists, curators, and thought leaders from a multitude of disciplines, whether conservation, architecture, real estate, or technology.
Boschendal X Brundyn is open seven days a week from 9h00 to 17h00 and until 19h00 during the Boschendal Friday Night Market. The farm is located on Pniel Road in Simondium near Franschhoek.