I live in a city where many of the creatives (and by that I mean people who choose to make creativity their career) leave.
Of course, our little place in the sun is choc-a-block full of creative minds but…
We have few places where creativity spills out,
drags you in.
When I walk on Donkin Hill I feel it.
Art that accosts me and makes me look.
It makes me think.
It brings me back.
Artistic ingenuity that grounds the area.
Creative environments strike cords within us.
Let me take you on a trip
Imagine walking into a beige building.
You are walking on brown tiles.
The cupboards are melamine beige
The chairs are brown.
The tables are medium brown.
There’s strip lighting.
Brown files line the walls.
The space is functional.
Does it strike a cord?
Will the building drag you back to spend more time there?
Does the space feel loved?
That someone cared for it enough to make it beautiful.
Now you walk into the second building.
Your feet clatter on polished wooden floors.
Slatted white blinds let in the sunlight.
Bulbous, modern glass light fittings diffuse the light.
Large easy chairs with plump cushions beckon.
The tiles around the ancient fireplace make you look again.
The mosaic encourages you to stare.
The walls are painted in shades of duck egg blue.
Thick rugs are scattered about.
Chances are that someone cared.
Someone poured them self into the space.
It was touched by a creativity hospitable heart.
You see, we get used to the bland.
We expect it somehow.
We wave goodbye to the next person leaving to build a more creative life in another city, wipe the tear from our eye and move on.
I encourage you to spend more time in environments where creative minds have played.
Spend a morning on Richmond Hill.
Walk into spaces and compliment the people who created them.
Support the creatives in our city.
Don’t be threatened.
Become fertiliser to the creativity that grows here.
It’s in a circle of support that creativity flourishes.
It’s in a word that says to someone, “I love what you are doing here.”
We settle for the insipid, the double beige, the drab, the mass produced.
We are too used to feeling safe, tucked up in brown lives.
This is me, I am Tania Ahlfeldt and I would like to apologise to brown – it’s getting a tough deal from me here.
I acknowledge its beauty when I bite into the lusciousness of a chocolate bar.
When I lean against the sturdy brown trunk of a tree.
It’s also the colour of toast, all crunchy and warm…
But c’mon, you know what I mean…
The above piece was recorded live on Kingfisher FM’s Creative Moment.
When I wrote it I was deliriously happy, surrounded by creativity and the lush smells of breads, fresh coffee, pastries…
This is the joyful hospitality of my office away from home – Brioche Café situated on Main Rd Walmer in our beautiful city on the tip of Africa.