A group of artists in the KwaZulu-Natal Natal Midlands have come together to revive the arts during the national lockdown.
The group known as, The Aesthete, showcased performing arts to locals in the comfort of their own vehicles – thus adhering to all the lockdown regulations.
The event was held in the majestic scenery of the hilly, Knoll Historical Guest Farm. Spectators, safely tucked away in their cars, experienced live bands, dance performances and even sculpture exhibitions. The festivities came as the country marked 100 days under lockdown.
Visual Artist Paul Murray says events like these, at least once a month, will make a financial difference to artists who are struggling.
“Artists have been hard hit hard by the lockdown this is amazing for us because we can try and sell something here. Some guys are even selling their paints and craft for a much cheaper price,” says Paul.
The route also takes the visitor into the world of live music and dance. Performer Natalie Baxter says it feels good to perform again after many of their gigs were cancelled due to the lockdown.
“I haven’t gotten a chance to perform for so long we were suppose to go on a big tour to Cape Town, we were going to play at the Cannabis Expo and it got cancelled. We are happy to be playing music again,” says Natalie.
Spectators, young and old alike, came out in their numbers, willing to pay the minimal entry fee.
“This is my first outing since lockdown started and it feels good. I love beautiful work that these artists are actually doing. I also love the idea of the drive through.”
“I think it’s absolutely wonderful to be out in the open everyone; keeping the distance and wearing the mask (while) listening to beautiful music. I haven seen the are yet I’m looking forward to that.”
The Knoll Historic Guest Farm, like its name, has a rich history in the area. It was known, in the 1980s, as the spot where many travellers would meet to wind down and enjoy each other’s company.
One of the even’t organisers says the lockdown has hit artists hard and they want to slowly begin to revive their spirits again.
“Well today we are doing driver throughs to weddings, funerals, baby showers – so we thought let’s do a drive through exhibition. We have artists all over South African who stay here mostly are from midlands. We have different kinds of them this is our 9th event in seven months. We hope to take this all over South Africa.”
The journey ends atop an open hilly space where spectators can park their cars, buy food – that’s delivered to your vehicle and wind down the warm winter afternoon enjoying some live music.
The arts, entertainment and events industry is one of the industries that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
A R150 million relief fund was set for sporting and cultural sectors, but many rejected it as too little to make any difference.