by Media Xpose

“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” – William Plomer 

Following the successful fresh-air focused 2021 Plett ARTS Festival, outdoor spaces, nature and nature-inspired art will once again take centre stage at the ninth annual Plett ARTS Festival from 30 September – 9 October 2022. The theme of the festival is CONNECT:  connect with nature, connect with the elements, connect with the artists and performers and connect with each other. Spring is sprung and, as the days lengthen, it’s time to shake off the winter months and enjoy Plett’s favourite playground: legendary hospitality, outdoor adventures, beautiful beaches and, for ten days, arts, music and drama to delight and entertain. 

Over its nine year run, the Plett ARTS Festival has become known for bringing unique and Plett-flavoured concepts to the art festival genre. The festival has premiered much-loved events such as Plett Food and Film and the Plett ARTS Twilight Meander which continue to draw interested visitors year upon year. Last year, following the trend of open-air events, the festival arranged a number of boutique “art in nature” concerts on the Keurbooms River Ferry, marine safari boats on the ocean and at the beautiful Bosky Dell Farm & Rose Garden. Another popular concept reintroduced this past year is Land Art and we’re thrilled to announce that the 2022 festival will continue with this exceptional theme with a Plett ARTS Festival Connect Land Art Route for visitors to enjoy. 

The festival begins on Friday 30 September with a Plett ARTS Twilight Meander, a celebratory opening to the festivities and the arts culture in Plett’s Main Street. From Dolphin Circle to Whale Wire Sculpture, galleries, pop ups, restaurant spaces and the street itself come alive for the meander. Visitors are encouraged to browse galleries and exhibitions, stop for a coffee or dinner at any of Plett’s Main Street eateries and look out for a digital exhibition that is sure to have that “wow” factor. There’s something special in every corner of Plett’s CBD. Visitors are encouraged to check the full programme for a list of exhibitions and opening night plans. Workshops and demonstrations are also available on the programme.  

The delightful food and film pairing that has provided many a night of laughter and flavour is the Plett Food & Film. This year, an absolute treat for the senses, the festival will be presenting “A Night of Kalahari Enchantment” at the White House Theatre. Twenty years before he won an Academy Award for My Octopus Teacher, Craig Foster and his brother David made a profound and beautiful documentation of the spiritual synergy and symbiosis of natural beings, as lived out by the San in the Kalahari. It’s called The Great Dance, a Hunter’s Story. Paired with this film, performers and magic makers this year are the Nguni girls who conjure a simply delicious meal inspired by the Kalahari and flavoured with wild edibles; Dizu Plaatjies – of Amampondo fame, an exceptional instrumentalist on Kora and traditional percussion and string instruments;  Was Lemeul reading evocative /Xam poetry of Dia!kwain, Kweiten-ta-//ken,  /A!kunta,, /Hanzkass’o and //Kabbo, adapted by Antjie Krog; and, rounding off this feast for the senses, Vanessa Brewer who leads a guided tasting of urban-foraged edible roots, leaves and unexpected delectables. 

Dizu Plaatjies & The ibuyambo Esemble

Aristotle says: “Art takes nature as its model” and this year’s performances in nature include Bronze Fields Forest Sessions, The Collectiv at Boskey Dell Farm & Rose Garden, Street Soccer and Music at Lehae TshisaNyama, and, live from the rooftop of Afro-centric, King Melisizwe will be live broadcasting his show, SmallTown TiVi

Carrying the art-in-nature concept, Land Art returns to Plettenberg Bay. Following two successful Site_Specific Land Art installations in 2011 and 2013, and a reintroduction at the 2021 festival, this year’s activation will feature a full Land Art Connect Route exhibition. Land Art is created using materials from the natural environment and are on display only for as long as nature (the tide, the winds, the waves) allows – a transient beauty as perfectly fleeting as a spring breeze. The planned route includes Piesang River mouth, Central Beach, Hobie Beach, Wedge Beach & the peninsula, Lookout Beach and Lookout peninsula. 

Andrew van der Merwe

Festival director, Cindy Wilson-Trollip is thrilled with the Plett ARTS Festival for 2022 and the continued concept of art in nature: “The connection between art and nature is a strong one, and a concept that we have continued to explore as the Plett ARTS Festival evolves year on year. We encourage all visitors to browse the programme and immerse themselves in the wonders of Plettenberg Bay and the best that the arts community of our town has put together.”

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