Scuptures incorporate sound

    South Africa boasts a wealth of artistic talent and the new crop of artists are no exception. As under 40's, these Young Artists explore concepts ranging from fashion and identity politics to observations of the past and present.

As varied in their mediums as they are in their concerns, our young artists represent the extremes of work emerging from South Africa today. One artist has caused a stir for her creativity of medium - Jenna Burchell.

Following a 2006 visit to London, Jenna started exploring the possibilities of touch-activated sound sculpture as a means to delve into tensions between "the intimacy of home and the diasporic forces of the global technosphere".

In her audacious installation Homing (2013-15), she produced a series of discrete sound recordings from various cities triggered by touching geometrically arranged copper wires.

Homing is an unique instrument that allows an audience to wander through a forest of glimmering copper strings, strung from floor to ceiling, to touch, listen and play their memories of home. Dogs barking, laughter, thunder, traffic, a piano - wherever you may be today, wherever you may live, each string of the artist Jenna Burchell's touch-sensitive instrument Homing triggers familiar sounds that take you back to that place, real or imagined, where you know you belong, feel safe, breathe easily.

Similarly, her new project a freestanding sculpture titled The Narrator (2015), requires touch to summon fragmentary spoken narratives.

Jenna's technological aptitude and craft as a sculptor are a given; what is most striking is her use of sound to create an impressionistic record of place and memory.

For more information on Jenna Burchell visit her website. For other young artists visit The Culture Trip and Artsy websites.

Jenna Burchell

Type I Diabetes solution

A team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believes it has found the closest cure to Type I diabetes yet, at least, one that acts as an alternative to routine injections.

The scientists developed a material that can be used to encapsulate human islet cells and transplanted them in a test run conducted with mice genetically engineered to develop Type I diabetes.

Islet cells are clusters of pancreatic cells that sense blood sugar levels and release insulin to maintain normal levels,

After implanting the material in their test subjects, the mice began to generate their own insulin in accordance with their blood glucose levels over a period of 174 days the study lasted - eliminating the need, hypothetically, for humans to find synthetic ways to do it themselves daily.

The half-year cure period the mice in question exhibited translates roughly to the equivalent of several years for humans.

Booster shots with this material have the potential to provide diabetics with a new pancreas that is protected from the immune system, which would allow them to control their blood sugar without taking drugs.

Source: Tech Times.

Diabetes Type 1

Planting water-wise plants

Careful consideration must be given to the species (type), size and condition of plants for your garden before selecting and installing them - especially with the water restrictions currently being imposed.

Some tips for choosing and planting water-wise plants :

  • Indigenous plants offer a range that are most suited to our dry conditions in South Africa and should therefore cope better during periods of prolonged drought or water restrictive conditions.
  • Grow plants that are adaptable to the site rather than water more to make up for the stressed condition the plant is experiencing due to this incompatibility.
  • Use hard landscape materials to replace some plants. Decorative logs in difficult areas solve many headaches and create artistic features in the garden.
  • Fewer plants in the landscape uses less water and is lower in maintenance. Often simple plans are more pleasing than a crowded appearance.
  • Try not to mix too many varieties of plants as this could become untidy and water requirements of each may differ. Simple effects are most attractive.
  • Plant more ground covers to keep moisture in the soil. Ground covers help to slow water down when it runs over them. This enables the soil to receive more water. All plants in the area benefit.
  • Do not plant masses of annuals as this is extremely seasonal and will waste lots of water.

For more information view waterwise ways for your garden.

Water-wise plants

Romantic retreat in rocky delight

With Valentine's day just around the corner, this spot at the edge of the Cederberg is a definite must for anyone looking for a romantic retreat for the weekend.

Located in the south-eastern region of the Cederberg, in Swartruggens district, Kagga Kamma nature reserve is scattered with sprinklings and larger collections of red-brown weathered sandstone formations that are both interesting and eye-catching.

The nature reserve has a unique wilderness (drier mountain fynbos) and cultural heritage (the region was home to the San for centuries) that can be explored from the back of a game drive truck, 4 x 4, quad bike or even by foot - that's if you make it out of their romantic caves at any time over the weekend.

Their accommodation is split between 'Caves', 'Bushman huts', chalets and camping sites, but by far the best are the Caves. Most of the caves are integrated with the existing rock formations, in faux rock installations. If you can get your design eye past the faux rock, the rooms and exquisite vistas from the cave are definitely worth the extra money for this choice of accommodation (room 14 and 15 being the best views and the quietest). You could just scurry away with your partner into your cave and not come out for the entire weekend.

If you are brave enough to face the outdoors at night, then another top winner is the open-air outcrop room. Situated on a remote rocky outcrop far away from the Lodge, this idyllic space is home to the first luxury sleep out facility of its kind (weather permitting). A double bed and glowing fire will be waiting to make it the perfect spot for honeymooners and couples.

Be sure to mention to the manager if your weekend away is a special celebration as the staff will go out of their way to make it a weekend to remember.

If you do make it out of the room, there are many awesome things to keep you busy: quad biking, sunset drives and star-gazing trips being on the top of the list of things to do.

View Kagga Kamma's website for more information.

Kagga Kamma

Hot News

Cheral is on Radio Disa today

Keep your radio on Radio Disa (95.9) today at 6 - 7pm, as Cheral will be discussing with radio presenter Rethea Newell how to include art in your outdoor space.

Featured Plant

Arctotis Stoechadifolia

Arctotis Stoechadifolia
(Silver Arctotis)

Family :


Description :

Ground cover to 30cm with showy yellow flowers.

Flowering time :

Spring / Summer

Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Little water
  • Evergreen
  • Frost resistant
  • Wind resistant
  • Well drained soil

View more detailed information on this plant in our plant directory.

Design idea feature

Transform a large eye-sore wall into a conversational piece and a personal statement.

Design idea feature

Adding colour to it in an expressional piece of artwork will certainly brighten your children's play area / teen zone.

Design idea feature

Pinterest Visit our Pinterest profile for more ideas.

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie
White cabbage

Seeds can be sown or plants can be planted for the following herbs and veggies this month:


  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Mielies
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweetcorn
  • Swisschard
  • Turnips
  • Herbs

  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Chives
  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Mustard
  • Oreganum
  • Parsley
  • Rocket
  • Thyme
  • Watercress
  • View our full planting plan in our resources section of our website.

    Brain Teaser

    We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...

    Brain Teaser

    December's Teaser Answer :
    "Cut above the rest"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82