Arts and culture in Napier
Farm life may be the beating heart of Napier but the arts and culture of the village is its vibrant personality. No visit is complete without exploring it.
The ample farms and simple living has led to an influx of English artists that hope to gulp the natural beauty and experience recurring inspiration. Stroll through the main part of the village and you will find art galleries and museums that will seduce your artistic nature. Like a moth to a flame you will find the right-side of your brain being enticed and stimulated by the creative nature and thought-provoking history of the town.
The galleries host mainly local artists from the greater Napier area. Several may come from as far as Stellenbosch but these are few and far between the hidden artistic gems of this quiet part of South Africa. The galleries instil a sense of calm with their white walls, open spaces and serene atmosphere. They promote a space to allow your mind to dwell over the different themes and topics. You will find yourself removed from your own reality as you take lazy steps between each painting and sculpture that offer windows into surreal realities.
The artists have produced a varying selection of themes and mediums. One can find stark differences between genteel paintings of the landscape and S&M pencil drawings. You will be surprised to find young prodigies producing master pieces and the local pub owner creating knitted animal heads that will leave you in awe. Another local creates renowned military chess pieces with lead that represent different battles in history. There are ceramic pieces that will make you look twice, intriguing metal pieces, Zen garden designs and sculptures that you can watch being made from an assortment of once discarded materials. It is the skill the sculptors have of turning a miscellaneous piece into something grand. One gallery has a workshop open to tours and another has a small bookshop overflowing with stories and old literature. One can also take a stroll through the stain glass shop that specialises in stained glass doors and lamp shades. The workshop is in the back so if you would like to take a peak you can discover the method behind this fine art.
For a bit of culture there is a museum that displays an astonishing amount of military memorabilia. You won’t regret getting caught between souvenirs from past wars and the owner’s passionate story-telling. The dirt roads and century-old buildings are riddled with culture. The town was established in 1838 so there is great history and its old charm has never been lost. The old slave house is still standing and has had several other purposes over the years. Yet the walls still stand as they did in the 1800s. Even the beer in Napier has culture. The local brew master has been making ale and beer with the sweetest barley and with every sip you can taste the hard work and passion that has gone into making it. Not to mention the musicians that can provide live entertainment and the art instructors that are willing to share their creative skill
Our lives have become fast-paced and where we have begun to occupy our time with errands and a busy social calendar, so often do we neglect the refreshing indulgence into a bit of arts and culture. Enliven your senses and let the creativity make its abstract way back into your life. Napier is the place to allow your senses to be over-washed with colour, shape, form and culture.