Scary stories from a lovely place
Following on from the last post about enjoying downtown Jozi, I wanted to share with you a place I have only just recently discovered. Arts on Main is one of those places that I’ve known about for a long time, but it’s taken me a while to actually go there.
Arts on Main is a great place to go after a trip to the aforementioned Carlton Centre. It’s nice to be 50 floors above ground, staring at the circular view of the city, and then descend to ground floor and actually do something in the city that was just being appraised. Another thing I love about visiting the Carlton Centre is driving around the city afterwards and recognising different landmarks or buildings that I had just previously seen from up so high. Arts on Main is one such place.
From the eastern side of the viewing deck of the Carlton Centre you can see a building emblazoned with ‘Main Street Life’ which is the rentable accommodation in the Arts on Main complex. They also have various spaces which are used by artists to work and exhibit. The German Insitute have a spot there – ‘Goethe on Main’ as do other recognisable brands like ‘Love Jozi’, the t-shirt guys. On the weekend we visited an exhibition that Stephen and the architectural practice he works for, ’26’10 South Architects’, had designed. I had seen it previously in the stuffy dustiness of the Potato Sheds behind Newtown. This was a much better space for their work. It’s all about the housing shortage in Joburg and their solutions in different areas, like Diepsloot. The photo brand ‘I was shot in Joburg’ which seeks to provide a vocation and income for homeless youths were also exhibiting their work. They had taken photos in various government housing developments of people and their RDP homes. The photos were displayed via projector and were marked with the residents opinions on their house. Comments went like this – “I like it but security is a problem”, “I added rooms at the back and a fence”, “It needs windows at the front”, “It is good, but small”, “There isn’t much good about this house”, “I love it”. It was all very well crafted.
Arts on Main also boast a small cinema, entertainment or function space, reading room and a rooftop bar. Joyfully there is also a place to eat good food, aptly named the Canteen. The food is very good. The wine is refreshing. Sitting in a sunny, grassy courtyard crowded with olive and lime trees makes for both a private and perfumed meal. It is a seriously relaxing place. I could sit there all afternoon.
Do yourself a favour, go. Their website is www.artsonmain.co.za