Ongoing work exploring spaces of celebration.
Hidden in the leafy southern suburb of Claremont lies the colonial curiosity that is Arderne Gardens. The garden was established in 1845 in Claremont, Cape Town by Ralph Henry Arderne, a successful timber merchant and cabinet maker who hailed from Cheshire, England. The story goes that when Arderne placed orders with tradesmen for timber he asked them to bring back saplings for his beloved garden. This grew into the greatest concentration of exotic trees in Southern Africa and in time the gardens became famous.
The garden is a rare place where race, background, origin, status and everything else that plagues South Africa with its troubled past disappears. Today the garden plays host to a rich diversity of celebrations. On a sunny afternoon you can see the gardens come to life as a limousine pulls up to the front gate filled to the brim with a wedding party from the Cape Flats dressed in their Sunday best, while families from Congo create cherished wedding photographs wearing beautiful designs in vibrant African fabric lovingly brought from home while families from the surrounding neighbourhoods enjoy a picnic or birthday party in the gardens.