We talk about how wonderful Watershed is quite often and it’s because, well, it is wonderful. We have such an incredibly diverse range of artists and crafters under one roof that we can’t help but beam with pride when we talk about them. And while the space has lent itself to a new movement in African craft, we still honour tradition in art, and the work of Suzanne Elizabeth is a perfect example of that.
So here is a bit of her story and how she came to set up shop in the Watershed.
Suzanne Elizabeth was born in Wales and came to live in South Africa at an early age. She immediately and completely fell in love with the country and has been settled in Cape Town since 1990 with her husband and children. Wise woman! Who would want to live anywhere else?
In 2004, the hard experience of losing her mom created a desperate need for therapy so she started painting. The hobby allowed for her to experiment with many different mediums and techniques, which developed into her find her own techniques and a passion for African images, ones that evoked great emotion and brought joy to others. But then the paintings started piling up in her home so she decided to try and sell some of her work, somewhat reluctantly at first as she couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to spend their money on her art. However, with support and encouragement from family and friends, she approached the V&A Waterfront to enquire about renting a small space and in 2009, Art by Suzanne Elizabeth was founded. Much to Suzanne’s surprise, almost all of her paintings were sold out within the first week of business.
We shifted things up when we let go of the red and blue sheds and created Watershed and Suzanne came along for the ride so she now runs a flourishing space within our market. She recently told us how the continued growth of her business has also enabled her to provide employment for numerous individuals, and that having a space at Watershed has provided her with an opportunity to assist disadvantaged artists by giving them a platform to showcase their art.
In the grander scheme of things, Elizabeth has now opened a second branch in Stellenbosch and has her husband by her side as her Marketing Manager.
So on your next visit to Watershed, take some time to browse through some of Suzanne’s work and the artists she supports.