Talk of the Town

This month a riveting new art installation has been launched on campus, Chamonix Wines appointed a new head winemaker and the Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital opened its doors in Die Boord. We catch up on recent events with Eikestadnuus editor Danie Keet.

Circle of art set to unite

A new art installation at Stellenbosch University (SU), “The Circle”, was launched on Monday 26 August.

According to Martin Viljoen, SU-spokesperson, the bronze art installation featuring 11 phenomenal South African women thought leaders, is the latest project forming part of an extended visual redress process on the campuses of SU.

The installation, which is arranged in a circle, is situated on a patch of grass in front of the A I Perold Building on the Rooi Plein.

Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Wim de Villiers said it was appropriate that the event be held during Women’s Month because the figures depict South African women leaders, past, present and future.

He emphasised the SU’s commitment to righting the wrongs of the past. “Stellenbosch University commits itself unconditionally to the ideal of an inclusive world class university in and for Africa. What we see here tonight is an expression of that commitment. We want to move forward together with symbols that unite is. We want symbols, names and artwork that heal, unite, include and help us move forward together.”

Bruwer – new chief at Chamonix wines

Neil Bruwer has been appointed head-winemaker of Chamonix in Franschhoek. Bruwer, who worked as junior winemaker at Chamonix from January 2016 to August 2018, returns to the farm after gaining experience in the cellars and vineyards of Stella Bella Winery in West Australia and Ponzi Vineyards in Oregon.

According to Chamonix CEO Stefan van Rooyen, Bruwer has gained a wealth of experience at a relatively young age and is the ideal candidate to continue ensuring Chamonix upholds its reputation as one of South Africa’s leading wine farms.

“At 27 years of age, Neil has worked at some of the Cape’s leading wine estates as well as spreading his wings to experience wine-making in Oregon and Australia,” says Van Rooyen. “Together with his two-and-a-half years of working closely with former wine-maker Thinus Neethling, Neil knows the vineyards and wines of Chamonix extremely well and shares our vision of being a leading South African winery known for a range of terroir-expressive wines reflecting the our unique site in Franschhoek.

Sy wou ‘n donkie ’n stem gee

Elbé van Heerden

As kind van die natuur word die elemente, die wind en sand, ook deel van Rentia Retief se kunswerke.

Hoewel Rentia nog ’n jong, opkomende kunstenaar is, het haar unieke styl reeds bekendheid begin verwerf en sy het pas ’n solo-uitstalling van haar landskaptekeninge in Kaapstad afgesluit.

Rentia is oorspronklik van Caledon en het na aan die natuur in die platteland grootgeword. “Hoewel ons nie op ’n plaas gewoon het nie, was my pa ’n veearts en ek het baie tyd op die plase in die omtrek deurgebring. My kuns weerspieël die landelike gebied wat ek elke dag ervaar het.

“Ek was gelukkig om die plase te kon verken en ons was die heeltyd deur diere omring. Ek en my twee broers het as kinders drie kalfies gekry wat ons moes grootmaak. Ek dink my pa wou hê ons moes leer hoe om vir ’n lewende dier verantwoordelik te wees. Ons moes deur die hele proses gaan – hulle voer en later ook verkoop. Dis ’n harde les, maar tog deel van die lewe.”

Sy het ook van kleins af perd gery en kon op haar eie tussen die plase beweeg. “Ek dink dis waar ek my voete in die water gekry het; om alleen te wees in die natuur.”

Rentia het in 2011 aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch met die hulp van ’n atletiekbeurs begin studeer. “Ek het oorspronklik begin deur grafiese ontwerp te studeer, maar na ses maande besef dis sieldodend en ek het my vakrigting na beeldende kunste verander.

“Ek het later my honneurs in illustrasie voltooi en as deel van ’n uitruilprogram ses maande in België deurgebring.”

Orthopaedic hospital brings new expertise

The Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital is now open in Die Boord, at the site of the original Mediclinic Stellenbosch.

In a first for Mediclinic, the Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital has formed a partnership with the Institute of Orthopaedics and Rheumatology (IOR) to deliver exceptional outcomes to the Winelands and greater Cape Town community.

The partnership has been implemented to meet the need for specialist medical care, specifically pertaining to the disciplines of orthopaedic surgery and rheumatology. This will make world-class expertise available to South Africans, eliminating the need to travel internationally to receive high-level specialist care.

“This hospital will provide the infrastructure, experience and resources, which will in turn allow the IOR to realise their goals of improved clinical specialist care,” explains Carol van Zyl, Hospital General Manager: Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital. “We envision a process in which our approach can be systematically improved through the value provided by both parties, leading to improved overall patient care. This is definitely a first for Mediclinic, and we are very excited about the opportunities this collaboration presents.”