Starways Arts Centre
Pottery - Music - Wellbeing - Workshops
Starways Arts Centre is situated 3 km from the centre of Hogsback village. The rustic road signs bring you to an entrance with a large gate and a pedestrian gate. The first view of Starways' unique building style is The Forest Gallery, roughly thatched and housing the works of three potters and a variety of painters.
Just behind The Forest Gallery is The Rose Theatre which is built into eight tall pine trees and is reminiscent of Shakesperian theatres. Glancing up the hill you can see more cabins and workshops built with planks, mud, wattle sticks and stones, all gathered from Starways.
During the tourist seasons The Rose Theatre runs entertainment. Pizzas are served from its quaint kitchen. A great variety of genres can be seen there. Folk and blues singers visit often. Poetry readings take place every year. Trance parties happen in December. Story-telling round a fire has become popular. Workshops at The Rose in sound travel, bead-making and painting take place now and then. Recitals of classical music take place in the Main House lounge with its acoustic piano. Many of the performers are Gwyneth's colleagues and students gathered during her years of professional singing and university teaching.
The resident artists are usually available for a chat while curating the art work. Vale van der Merwe, Liyanda Mafika and Gwyneth Lloyd were trained and mentored by the late Anton van der Merwe. They continue the inspired work that he created at Starways expressing their own unique styles. Anton made a significant contribution to the history of South African flame fired pottery and founded Starways Pottery in Hogsback in order to use the abundant supply of wattle on the property, developing reduction firing with ash glazes and local clay. Gwyneth Lloyd, his wife, encountered her love of pottery in London and took over the decorating of Liyanda Mafika's domestic ware. Water colours by Gwyneth Lloyd and neighbour Ali Brandstetter, as well as prints of Anton's superb water colours, are displayed on the walls.
Anton and Gwyneth's children live at Starways for several months in the year. Pearce van der Merwe is internationally known as Flooting Grooves and he presents his new tracks at Hogsback each year before taking them to Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Switzerland, Australia and other countries. Eliot Lloyd Short and his wife Carrie von der Langenberg live in London and bring their experience in west end theatres to workshops and art at Starways. Vale lives with her family over the road and she creates exhibitions with her pottery and her husband Kent Smith's superb furniture.
Gwyneth and Anton slowly built up Starways Arts Centre from the early nineties and were instigators of the Hogsback Arts Festival which started in 1993. Now the whole village hosts seasonal festivals and their dream of Hogsback becoming a cultural destination has come true.