2022 was a busy year for the Creative Feel team.
In addition to undertaking new editorial projects, we also formed new partnerships, continued longstanding relationships with institutions, organisations and independent art spaces, and maintained our coverage of local and global music, performance, visual art and culture.
We’re excited to further these relationships in the new year and, of course, to continue to change and grow as a publication committed to the arts. For now, as the year draws to a close, here are a few of the team’s favourite articles, projects and editorial campaigns from the year that was.
Art that rewards and raises awareness
The editorial campaigns that stand out most to me are the ones that highlighted the diversity and richness of the South African arts and culture sector and served as tools for broadening our audience’s experiences of the arts whilst providing artists with the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents.
Our coverage of the 2022 Distell National Playwright competition was, from start to finish, one such campaign, highlighting young upcoming playwrights. Both Cape Town Opera’s gender-based violence campaign and the Living Heritage Showcase were important bits of coverage, infusing art and awareness into one.
I also loved learning about the Plett Arts Festival through our coverage of this year’s festival.
– Thuli Mabaso
Memorable moments through music
By far, my most favourite highlight from 2022 has been the music. It all started with the release of Ludovico Einaudi’s Underwater in Jan. I fell in love with his solo piano album back then and it’s been on repeat many times since. So much so, in fact, that Luminous and Rolling like a Ball landed up in my Spotify Wrapped for 2022 and he sat in the top five of my favourite artists for the year.
Then World Sleep Day hits and we’ve got a gorgeous mix of melodies that not only endorses mental health, but includes a slowed-down, instrumental version of Billie Eilish’s When the Party’s Over that I’m obsessed with.
If I had to choose one final highlight, it’d be Max Richter’s The New Four Seasons which takes us on a 21st-century journey through Vivaldi in collaboration with Chineke! Orchestra. I wasn’t disappointed and I’m still playing the album, six months later.
– Angelia Müller
The return of art festivals and the power of live performance
Interesting and exciting interventions in the realms of visual art and performance are my memorable moments from the past year.
Covering the National Arts Festival in person again was a definite highlight – nothing beats the energy of the live festival experience – although hybrid online and physical festivals such as the European Film Festival remain an editorial highlight, too.
In addition to the usual names in the South African gallery circuit, it was interesting to read about exhibitions taking place in the quieter reaches of the country, such as Angela Banks’ solo at the Knysna Art Gallery, the land art interventions at the Plett Art Festival or new community arts initiatives in the Eastern Cape.
Lastly, while theatre remains a precarious and notoriously under-funded industry in South Africa, it was hugely encouraging to see familiar names and organisations such as James Ngcobo, Magnet Theatre, and Forgotten Angle continue to produce urgent and important work across the realms of community, student, and traditional staged theatre.
– David Mann
Enduring orchestral sounds and creative voices
If it would not be so very predictable, I would of course again vote for our coverage of, and our collaboration with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO). I am a huge fan of this orchestra and the music they played this past year was just outstanding! Great conductors and great soloists, every concert was so special and enjoyable, thank you JPO.
But it is not only about just looking back! Looking ahead to 2023 there is a project of Creative Feel that is very important for me to keep up to current trends, to keep adding to, to re-visit and to give more space to the Creative Voices out there.
Creative Voices: Celebrating Living Heritage through the arts is a project by Creative Feel that aims to encourage people to carry on practising and transmitting their Living Heritage. Starting with a handful of well-known and accomplished artists who embody Living Heritage in their practice, the project was subsequently open to submissions from artists young and old. The selected artists and their work continue to develop the conversation around what Living Heritage is and how we can better engage with it.
So once again we will ask for submissions in the ever-changing arts environment and it will be great to see even younger artists taking part in 2023. Watch this space!
– Lore Watterson
READ: Looking back to see ahead, a reflection by Lore Watterson