Patrick de Mervelec

It’s marvellous when creative minds and talented people come together to celebrate a work of art, a launch, a happening, an affair. Last week in Cape Town at the Heidi Erdmann Contemporary Gallery on Shortmarket St, the Anglo-Franco society got together at an inspiring expo/book launch by photographer Patrick de Mervelec.

Patrick’s photography depicts the architecture of Johannesburg. Patrick has an extraordinary eye; he has captured the personality of this city through his lens, showing the changing façades over a period of time.  The urban fabric of Johannesburg is a woven mishmash of old that meets new. Art décor buildings, quaint buildings and sky rise buildings, all make up this diverse-city of Johannesburg.  Sadly a lot of the magnificent buildings have been ruthlessly pulled down, while others are been neglected and left to decay. Yet there is hope. A few corporate companies have started to move in and refurbish these sites, so from now on, many historic building will be saved and cherished.

I remember my first visit to New York City. Someone said to me, look up! You will be amazed at the architecture. I did and I was! The dizzying heights of the tall structured buildings with their sharp angles were all of a sudden more meaningful to me. The gargoyles that leapt out of the magnificent older buildings that architects became famous for were fascinating. The little brownstones that have survived the rising of skyscrapers, all make up the architecture that has built the character of that city. So the next time you are in a city, look up to it.

Johannesburg’s architectural history runs from the gold rush and living in tents through to the beautiful Colonial buildings, to the boring and horrid square concrete blocks in the 60’s and 70’s. Each of these styles clearly being influenced by that particular era.

We now face the modernisation in architecture using new materials on a much larger scale. Glass and steel have become the demand and the fashion. I feel sad when beautiful buildings are destroyed and beauty becomes the beast. Patrick’s photography paid homage to these differing architectural styles and now in print these will live on.

QueenB!……..Abuzzing off

Heidi Erdmann Gallery
63 Shortmarket Street
Cape Town
Tel: +27 214222762

Photo’s by Roland Brown

My hair by Naturalmente




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