Noordhoek art point
Salon Hecate is a joint project between Noordhoek Art Point gallery and author-editor Helen Moffett.
We share a vision of synergy between poetry and other forms of creative writing, and the visual arts — in which “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” (our mantra). The gallery offers a beautiful space for book and poetry readings/events that reflect the themes of the art exhibited. It’s also a site where we can explore the connections between words and images in very immediate ways. In the past year, we’ve also discovered the potential for overlap between the visual arts and other art forms and creative projects as well: poetry, music, dance, photography, wine-making, recipe-and-plant exchanges, environmental projects, and more. We’re particularly interested in supporting local artists, writers, teachers, passions, and green projects. We’re always interested in hearing from small businesses, libraries, schools and NPOs in the Deep South about ideas for mutual support.
Once a month, Helen curates a reading, usually featuring two or more readers/poets/creatives, that speaks (quite literally!) to the art hanging on the walls that month. During 2023, this was the first Monday evening of each month, but we’re looking to change this to a night that’s a bit more “user-friendly” — we’ll keep you posted. Time is always 5.30 for 6, to end at 7pm.
Attendance is free, with small snacks and wine/juice served. Donations are welcome, but absolutely not obligatory. Vegetarians/vegans always catered for.
In 2024, we’re hoping to host workshops on a variety of writing and book topics. These intimate, intensive workshops will involve a fee, and the gallery will manage all bookings. Please let us know if you’re interested in specific and specialist writing topics, and we’ll see what we can do.
The gallery itself is wheelchair accessible — parking, ramp and no steps into the gallery itself. BUT, very much to our regret (we rent the premises), we do not have a wheelchair-friendly toilet. You can certainly use the toilet if you have a companion to assist you — you will need to lock the outer door of the bathroom while you use it.
If you are visually impaired, some of our sculptural and three-dimensional works are designed to be felt and stroked. Please feel free to ask for guidance, or make an appointment so our friendly galleristas can help you to let your fingers do the walking.
In response to FAQs: how things work
Salon Hecate events/readings are carefully curated to create an overlap between the art/exhibitions in the gallery (commissioned up to a year in advance). We aim to fill a niche market; we don’t provide a space for individual poets to read from their work, or offer open mics. This is because these needs are beautifully met by other poetry platforms in Cape Town, notably The Red Wheelbarrow and Off The Wall. We offer something very different – otherwise we might as well ask to join forces with them. Plus, the dedicated volunteers and poets who run these events are our friends: we have no intention of competing with them for the small audiences that exist for solo poetry performances.
The gallery sets the theme and commissions art for an exhibition for most months of the year. I consider the theme, look at the art/artists, then choose poems/prose by local and hopefully available writers that echo or “speak” to the exhibited work. Our topics are very specific: for World Ocean Month, we invited surfers who had also published creative work about surfing to read for us – it was our most well-attended event so far.
With very rare exceptions, we don’t feature single poets – we choose a line-up of up to five readers whose work can be “in conversation” with each other. For this reason, I’m the one who picks what gets read, not the author. You can immediately see the “problem” here – I need to read your work before I can invite you to an event, and there is only one of me. I read local collections and poetry journals, and consult all the time with poetry publishers, marketing and PR people, reviewers and readers about what’s coming out, but this is the main reason we’re unable to include self-published authors at the moment – it’s not possible to keep up with the volume of work.
We also specialise in creating “overlaps” with other creative mediums: for instance, the poet Fiona Zerbst did a reading in which she was accompanied by classical musicians who performed/composed work inspired by her poems. This has widened to include local NPOs and community initiatives: so far we’ve been able to support the Roxy Davis Foundation (surf therapy for children with disabilities), TEARS, Project Noordhoeked and Toadnuts. If we can help your local organisation, even if it’s just by providing you with a platform to speak about the work you do, and we can find a way to thread you in into our thematic programme, please get in touch.
* Before asking/offering to read, if you’re local, please attend at least one of our events so you can get a feel for what we do. Sign up for the newsletter here so you can keep up to date with our events (we promise not to spam you)
* Authors/readers/poets MUST have a book/books published (in case of poets, a single collection; not a poem in an anthology or journal).
* Regretfully, no self-published titles (see above).
* We are promoting only local authors for now (in theory, from anywhere in the SADC community, if they’re coming to Cape Town), but with the focus on published and active authors in the Deep South and further afield in Cape Town.
* We can’t offer authors/readers any remuneration (travel, accommodation, etc — although if you’ve come a long way, you’re welcome to a bowl of soup at mine afterwards). Really sorry. My Art Point colleagues and and I offer time and venue for free. We share the costs of the events (wine, modest snacks, wages for intern who sets out chairs, serves drinks, clears up afterwards, payment to car guard), so we’re most grateful to anyone who can bring a bottle of wine or a plate of snacks.
* We do NOT want to compete with the existing bookshops in the South, especially the indies. We know these people and like them. This is why we don’t launch brand-new books or self-published titles; we do offer “top-up/pop-up” niche launches for books that were eaten by the pandemic. These would be titles that got swallowed because they appeared after March 2020 and either never launched, or did so virtually.
* We will sometimes offer launches for special occasions (so far, we’ve had one as a fundraiser for TEARS, and another to celebrate the birthday and Order of Ikhamanga for veteran supporter of poetry and poets, Keith Gottschalk)
* We focus on BACKLIST titles or OP (out-of-print) titles – we can sell VERY SMALL amounts of these out of the gallery, if you provide them. Please get in touch with me, Helen: don’t show up at the gallery with your books!
* We feature books that are beautiful as objects: they must have attractive covers that fit the ambience of the gallery. Titles that have an overt visual art focus are actively sought.
* Non-fiction titles: the gallery is interested in events/titles with environmental/ green themes, especially ocean-related.
The gallery does not have suitable storage space for books, so I purchase and store very small amounts of stock, with preference given to backlisted poetry, chapbooks, novellas and short story collections. Books at low prices move; pricier items gather dust. The gallery puts a 20% mark-up on anything I supply, and reimburses me my purchase cost (I don’t profit).
Need to get in touch?
For Salon-related enquiries, please contact me via my website: helenmoffett.com
16 Noordhoek Main Road, Sunnydale