Art, Recycling And Community Collide

10th November, 2017|Art Matters|

Illa Thompson Mercury Column 111 November 2017 Halloween as an excuse to dress up and have a party, is a fairly new thing to South Africa. Already it has captured the imagination of costume hires, party shops and supermarkets – all selling faux pumpkins, scary sweets and witches hats. I live in Glenwood - in [...]

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Make Way for the Young

2nd September, 2017|Art Matters|

Illa Thompson Mercury Column 110 August 2017 The creative industries provide platforms for sharing, engaging and grappling with issues whether social, personal or political. The stories shed light on what takes place in our hearts and heads, individually and collectively. It is so exciting that in our creative spaces currently there are a multitude of [...]

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Saluting the passionate

11th August, 2017|Art Matters, Uncategorized|

Illa Thompson Mercury Column 109 August 2017 Working mostly with professional creatives (men and women who create work for a living) it is always affirming to be among people for whom the thrill and passion of making art, rather than the hope of financial rewards, is what drives them. Not that the professional practioners aren’t [...]

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In search of special places

27th May, 2017|Art Matters|

Illa Thompson Mercury Column 106 May 2017 I suppose everyone has a special place: a place where you feel safe, happy, welcome and calm. A place where the very walls seems to enfold you, where on entering you feel your soul exhale, where time slows down and allows you be still. For surfers, this place [...]

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Art Matters – International Jazz Day

2nd May, 2017|Art Matters|

Illa Thompson Mercury Column 105 April 2017 It’s a red letter day this weekend for lovers of jazz - with hundreds of concerts, gigs, programmes and gatherings taking place simultaneously around the world bringing people together through a shared love of music in celebration of the seventh annual International Jazz Day. UNESCO has declared April [...]

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Stop what you’re doing; just for a while

13th February, 2017|Art Matters|

 Illa Thompson Column 103 February 2017 So today I think about people, strangers mostly, who have had their lives profoundly touched by the work of my colleagues. There has been an abundance of some astonishing interactions over the past few weeks causing the usually drowsy January to become uncharacteristically buoyant and optimistic. Today I think [...]

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2017: And so it starts….

9th January, 2017|Art Matters|

Illa Thompson Column 102 January 2017  So – it’s January. Intuitively I want to bang on about how New Years’ resolutions should include a commitment to engage with more original art this year: to catch regular theatre shows; sample some of the phenomenal live music which the region has on offer: from the sublime KZN [...]

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2016: the year that was

5th December, 2016|Art Matters|

2016: the year that was Illa Thompson Column 101 December 2016 2016 for me will be remembered for being a yo-yo year of polar opposites – moments of phenomenal joy side-by-side with moments of enormous sadness, anger and disappointment. Initiatives have come and gone this year: we sadly lost the Catalina and Barnyard theatres, and [...]

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Optimism Abounds

1st November, 2016|Art Matters|

Illa Thompson Column 100 November 2016 My relationship with Durban – my home town – is much like having a tempestuous lover: she is simultaneously astonishing, frustrating, remarkable, stormy, passionate and intense. There are times of extreme joy and enchantment, side-by-side with moments of powerful anger, rage, irritation and frustration. Working in the creative industries [...]

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Dear Dr. Survé

14th October, 2016|Art Matters|

An Open Letter to Dr. Survé By Illa Thompson Dear Dr. Survé, Change is inevitable and potentially exciting, although transition itself is often hard and unsettling. We all know that the mainstream media landscape is in the process of major transformation as globally consumers rely increasingly on electronic devices for information which compromises the future [...]

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