/ B e - Z a   C O L L A B O R A T I O N /

C O N T A C T S:   
Bev Gillespie, Organiser and Breadline Africa contact:
   082 2909 645
   021 419 7571

Jenny Birch,
Cape Friends of Calligraphy
   021 976 6592

L I N K S :
Maud Bekeart:

Bugge Plus:


Breadline Africa


Hilary Adams

Heleen de Haas

Lin Kerr

To find out more about calligraphy as an art form, read this short essay.

"Brugge" or "Bruges"
"Brugge" is the Flemish spelling, "Bruges" is the French. If you're a Brugge local, you probably say it "Bruhhe", the rest say it with a good old clearing of the throat.

a Belgian - South African
Calligraphy Collaboration

This page is still under constuction. Pics and further info still need to be added.
Suggestions welcome. Send to andrew@writtenword.co.za

      /  I N T R O D U C T I O N /

      This project has many exciting facets, some of which have not been finalised yet. The main facet involves South African calligraphers workshopping together to develop some fresh and uniquely African writing styles which will be used for designs to be carved in some huge stones by Belgian calligraphers. The stones will be auctioned in Bruges around July 2008.
      Then there's beach calligraphy, graffiti, South African poets, etc. This is all being done to give some South African Aids orphans and vulnerable children a boost, in life. Funds generated, will be administrated by Sprinkle and Breadline Africa.
      Of course, there are also great spin offs for calligraphy in South Africa, and some great new friends to be made!

      /  W O R K S H O P S /

      The Cape Friends of Calligraphy are presenting, at the Natural History Museum, Gardens, Cape Town, a series of workshops aimed at developing unique style:
      1. Everyone finds those amazing, cryptic letters done by graffiti artists fascinating. Mak1one will be doing his thing and showing us how to wield a spray can and build interesting letters.
      2. Professional calligrapher, Andrew van der Merwe will be introducing us to some fascinating colonial and pre-colonial African writing systems.
      3. Professional calligrapher, Hilary Adams will present a workshop on taking inspiration for innovative letters from the forms of found objects - anything from pebbles to old Coke cans.
      4. Calligraphy teacher, Heleen de Haas is currently on a trip with her husband which will take her up through the Northern Cape, Namaqualand and Namibia to Angola. She will be using the opportunity to research architecture and writing styles in these rural areas and present her workshop on these results.
      5. Finally, Maud Bekeart, Belgian professional letter carver, who will be visiting again, will help with refinements and provide instruction on adapting the designs for carving in stone.
      6. Tide and weather permitting, there will be calligraphy on the beach at dawn, boosted by sparkling wine & OJ with coffee and croissants from the Coimbra. A date is yet to be set.

      P R O G R A M M E /

      Here is a simplified version of the workshop programme. All the workshops run from 10h00 to 16h00. A full MS Word version can be downloaded here.

6.2.2007 ~ Designing letters for murals. Presenter: well known graffiti artist Mak1one.
      A look at the how-to of lettering, design wise and media wise
      Venue: Natural History Museum, Gardens, Cape Town

7.2.2007 ~ Ancient African scripts. Presenter Andrew van der Merwe
                  Drawing inspiration from some colonial and pre-colonial African writing sytems.
                  Venue: Natural History Museum, Gardens, Cape Town

8.2.2007 ~ Using found objects as a source of inspiration for innovative lettering designs .Presenter: Hilary Adams
                  Venue: Natural History Museum, Gardens, Cape Town

9.2.2007 ~ Africa meets Europe. Drawing inspiration from current writing and rural building styles in the Cape, Namakwaland, Namibia, Transkei and Angola. Presenter: Heleen de Haas
                  Venue: Natural History Museum, Gardens, Cape Town

10.2.2007 ~ The process of developing a script for carving. Presenter: Maud Bakaert
                  Venue: Tygerberg Art Center, Tygerberg

      /  H I S T O R Y /

      Maud Bekaert, an excellent Belgian stone carver visited South Africa in 2005 and looked some of us up in the hope of finding out what calligraphy was being done here. She met with Helen de Haas who runs a successful calligraphy teaching studio in the Durbanville area and myself (Andrew van der Merwe). I introduced her to my beach calligraphy and she showed us her letter carving. Sparks jumped all round. Maud was invited to present some letter carving workshops in Heleen's studio in April 2006 and the idea for this collaboration began germinating in her mind. Later on in 2007 she and Ann Popelier of Brugge-Plus submitted ideas to the City of Bruges which were met with enthusiasm.

      In August, I went to Bruges on the invitation of Brugge-Plus to demonstrate my beach calligraphy. The demonstrations were attended by, among others, the leadership of Brugge-Plus, the Zeebrugge Harbour company, the cultural leaders of the City of Bruges itself, the leader of Sprinkle, a few calligraphers, some family members and some children. They were all more enthusiastic than I could have imagined! None of them had ever seen anything quite like it. (Such comments have prompted me to Google "beach calligraphy" and I have come up with nothing but metaphorical references, so who knows, maybe we do have something entirely original here?!)

      This meeting was followed by a lot more hard, behind-the-scenes work by Maud and Brugge-Plus and a concept and general plan were agreed on.

      The rest is future!

hanks to Bev Gillespie's marketing efforts and the interest of the SABC, Andrew van der Merwe was interviewed about this project
on SABC 2's Morning Live programme on Thursday 11 January. A great response has been had.

WOR(L)DS. This name has been decided on for the project. A more descriptive subheading is still to be decided.

"P I K S E L S"
This is what you really need to see, isn't it? But they aren't ready yet. You'll have to come back! Sorry. Try some of the links over on the left.
The carving in the pic at the top of the page is by Maud Bekeart.