“Beach calligraphy done at Noordhoek beach on Sunday arvie. That’s Chris Brehem, famous Kommetjie surf artist, standing in the middle. After that the force field generated by the design beamed him off to J-Bay to catch the swell as it arrived there. You can see the tip of his board just beginning to vanish in pic above” writes &rew whimsically of his most recent work. It’s the first time he’s been back to the beach after seriously breaking his arm. The surf was cooking, usually creating an internal dilemma between work and waves, but because of his injury, he remained on land, scribing in the sand until Chris alighted serendipitously from the swell with his surfboard to crown the moment.
Art is often moving because it reminds us that life is ephemeral, moments fleeting. Andrew van der Merwe (or &rew as he likes to sign his emails) actively meditates on this when he inscribes his beautiful beach calligraphy on the shifting sands of the seashore. Like a giant zen garden, wiped clean by the waves of a high tide, Andrew pens elegant missives to the ocean, a surfer longing for the indelible big blue. This natural form of land graffiti has been credited as ‘making Cape Town’s beaches even more beautiful’ and featured in The Huffington Post’s Art & Culture section.
As fate would have it, Andrew is a surfer like Bruce Jack and they met one another on the beach at a children’s birthday party and were soon collaborating to design labels as unique and exceptional as the wine bottles they adorn.
Pen Jack’s lyrical illustrations and/or art direction, combined with Andrew’s elegant lettering and design, create visual poetry for The Drift Farm’s There Are Still Mysteries Pinot Noir (read Andrew’s story here); The Drift Farm’s Gift Horse Barbera and most recently, The Drift Farm’s Movable Feast red blend. As with other labels, the starting point was an inspired idea from Bruce. Andrew pared away unnecessary details from a photograph (much the same way Hemmingway removed redundant words) to create a festive silhouette before adding decoration & calligraphic flair to distil a sense of timeless celebration.
View more of Andrew’s work’s here.