Optical illusions on the streets

    Every so often, artists come together to show off their unique talents by creating interactive and conversational art pieces on the pavements and streets of the lucky host city. The likes of Julian Beever, Edgar Muller, Manfred Stader, Tracy Lee Stum, Felice Varini, Kurt Wenner and Greg 'The Grease' Lehman astound and entertain the audience with their 3D anamorphic artwork showcased at street painting competitions and festivals around the world.

3D anamorphic paintings are illusionary 2 dimensional images that appear to become 3 dimensional when viewed through a specific device or from a specific view point. Many of the 3D anamorphic paintings allow the audience to participate in or interact with the illusion itself, allowing the viewer to become an integral part of the painting. The result is a playful performance quality of the piece and a direct connection is created between viewer and the artist that cannot be experienced in any other way.

Anamorphosis is not a new technique, as one might think - it dates back to the early Renaissance (15th Century) and Baroque (17th century) eras. Perspective (oblique) anamporphosis is what is being used by these street artists, and was also used by Leonardo da Vinci in his Leonardo's Eye painting. The intended image can only be seen from a specific vantage point. Mirror (catoptric) anamorphosis was utilised effectively by Swedish artist Hans Hamngren in the 50's and 60's where his art could only be seen if a mirror was held in the appropriate position and angle, thus reflecting it correctly and in proportion.

These 21st century anamorphosis artists paintings can be seen in festivals like Grazie di Curtatone in Italy, Geldern Street Painting Festival in Germany, Bodenwerder Festival in Netherlands, Massey Street Painting Festival in Canada, Tebesir Street Painting Festival in Turkey and in various cities across the USA.

For more information on these illusions visit Mighty optical illusions or for more information on the history or applications of this art technique visit Wikipedia.

3D anamorphic artwork

A South African is leading automobile design in the UK

Originally born in South Africa, Gordon Murray in 1964 at the age of 18 years old was a mechanical engineering student at the Durban Institute of Technology, with dreams of designing and building his own car and engine to race in the Domestic Series.

Only 5 years later in 1969, did these dreams start to become a reality, when he moved to the UK to pursue racing car design. He subsequently followed a 17 year period with the Brabham Formula One team and an 18 year period at McLaren in both Formula One and Road Car Design.

Now Gordon has his own business, Gordon Murray Design Limited, with the aims of being the best design group in the industry. A highly talented team has been brought together by Gordon to push the boundaries of automotive and engineering design.

This has been done in the form of the T.25 and T.27 City Cars.

The T.25 represents a major breakthrough in City Car design and is a vehicle that has been optimised through design for strength, performance, weight, cost, safety, usability, tooling, quality, energy efficiency, recyclable and ease of assembly.

The T.27 vehicle, closely follows the layout and geometry of the innovative T.25 city car, but is a pure electric drive vehicle designed to fully optimise packaging, weight and performance.

These city cars have smaller than normal dimensions, a central driving position, a unique door opening system, lightweight design, 6 internal layouts (with driver-only option it has a stowage space that is equal to 6 shopping trolleys in volume), a world-leading 6m turning circle and much more.

An optimised manufacturing and design process developed by Gordon Murray Design called iStream will provide the ability to manufacture a quality car with low capital investment, with shorter lead times, and that allows the flexibility to manufacture a vehicle tailored to the car designer's requirements, thus reducing the investment and size of a typical car factory by 80%.

See Gordon Murray's website for more information on their city cars.

Gordon Murray Vehicle Design

Recycling made easy

It is estimated that Cape Town residents produce over 6000 tons of waste per day (roughly to 1.72 kilograms of waste per person) and this waste is growing at approximately 7% each year.

With the national target (set in 2007) of reducing the amount of waste going to landfills by 70% by 2022, and to minimise and treat the remaining 30%, recycling has become a routine in some homes and complexes.

Recycling and waste management projects take an integrated approach to waste management and deals with waste in several different ways with the aim of reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Recycling also reduces the need for new raw materials, and so helps prevent environmentally harmful processes like mining, power generation and water exploitation. It also creates opportunities for new products using recycled materials and therefore a financial saving in production costs.

Many people still believe that recycling requires a lot of effort to dispose of the recyclable items from their property, however the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning and other small businesses have made it easier for residents to conduct effective waste management by positioning recycling centres at a variety of easily accessible locations.

Many recycling drop off points have conveniently been placed at local schools and refuse sites and official recycling depots like Oasis, Southern Cape Recycling and Reliance Compost Trust Recycling Depot have been set up by the Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Department.

For more information on a recycling collection point or depot, visit the Western Cape Recycling Depots List.


Rolling green mountains all around

Just 280 kms away from Cape Town, on a farm at the edges of the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, a log cabin perched on the top of a mountain slope is the perfect place for a weekend.

The farm is a member of the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy, which contains large areas of mountain fynbos, Knysna type forest and some rare examples of unspoilt renosterveld or Themeda grassland. Beyond the Nature Reserve lies the Boosmansbos wilderness area; one is of the best protected areas in the country. Staying true to the nature orientated aspect of the location, a distant cottage on the hill opposite is the only other evidence of potential human habitat in the area.

For a group of people interested in getting away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, or to spend quality time with friends catching up on those stories that are forgotten because there is just not enough time in the day, this is just the place.

The cabin itself is built over an old ruin, dating back to 1730 with its sleeping spots dotted around the ancient walls that divide the area in three convenient divisions. The outer wooden walls slide open offering spacious views across the farm.

This fully self catering cabin has a firepit outside, a very large fireplace inside, a fridge, stove, hot water, lanterns and enough beds to sleep 10 people, and is a perfect spot all year round.

Red wine, board games and light jovial conversation all around is definitely on the menu of activities on a cold wet winters day / evening. During a bright warm day, a walk on the large never-ending farm, through the forest or down the river washes the stresses away and brings in a light breezy feel that can be taken back to Cape Town at the end of the stay.

Cost per person is R120 per night. You can contact John or Miranda at Honeywood Farm on (028) 722 1823 or visit their website.

Honeywood Farm Photos: i-shoot photography

Hot News

A year and half later

Every now and then Living Matter is involved in designing a garden for a corporate. This time it was the garden adjacent to the Nando's at the BP Petrol station in Tokai.

BP Tokai

Paarman Landscapes (a preferred partner) installed this vibrant and green garden, that compliments the colours of both Nando's and BP brands so well.

BP Tokai

A year and a half later, the garden is full, flowering and looking good!

BP Tokai


Osteospermum ecklonis

Osteospermum Ecklonis
(Blue-And-White Daisy Bush)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous sub shrub to 0.6m with white or purple flowers and rich purple pollen centre.

Flowering time :

Winter/ Early Spring

Conditions :

  • Full Sun / Semi Shade
  • Average water
  • Evergreen
  • Wind resistant
  • Frost resistant
  • Any soil

Wine of the month

The Ladybird Red Blend 2008

Winery : Laibach
Winemaker : Francois van Zyl

Description :

Easy drinking Bordeaux Blend = 42% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot and 6% Malbec.

Aroma : Oodles of pure black fruit with good dollops of spice.

Palate : Silky and well, supported with lovely soft supple tannins. An explosion of fruit on a medium bodied palate with good complexity and length.

Winemaking : Wine is organically grown and produced, matured in French oak for 12 months, bottled without filtration and sealed with organic cork. Only 6030 bottles were produced.

Awards : Michelangelo - GOLD.

If you want to purchase or require more information on this wine, or if you are interested in a private or corporate tasting, please email

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
June's Teaser Answer :
"3 degrees below zero"


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Contact Cheral:

Cell: 082 82 509 82