Jacques Erasmus

PHOTOS: Greg Cox | WORDS: Alma Viviers

Jacques Erasmus doesn’t distinguish between work, play and life in general – for him it's all governed by the principle of beauty.

Food artist-gastronome, entrepreneur, global explorer, conceptual designer and artist – all labels that try to capture who Jacques Erasmus is, or at least what he does. Although his creative talents extend over a multitude of disciplines he is, in essence, simply a lover of beauty.

“I love beautiful objects that can capture or embody an emotion, be it a vessel, the lines of a tailored shirt, a beautiful plate of food,” he muses.

Jacques trained as a chef and spent several years in the restaurant industry before deciding to become involved in design on a broader scale. He joined lifetime friend and now business partner, Neil Stemmet, at Koncept Design, Architecture and Interiors, where their philosophy is to create timeless, old-world beauty with a fresh twist.

26 magnificent chandeliers

Jacques was recently commissioned to design and install chandeliers at the newly refashioned Cape Grace hotel, where interior designer Kathi Weixelbaumer has juxtaposed the modern with the historical, intertwining the Cape’s history with the natural beauty of its fauna and flora through stories depicted on fabric, upholstery and tapestries by African Sketchbook (as seen in the background of both photographs above).

Jacques continued this narrative theme in the design of the chandeliers, each telling a story of its own. “I really had to get into the mindset of the particular time or space,” he explains. “For example we did a Lady Anne Barnard suite and I had to figure out what her milieu was.”

He then set out to source objects and trinkets from art auctions and antique dealers and attached them to a basic chandelier structure which he sourced from Delos.

Jacques completed 26 magnificent chandeliers over a six-month period, including four dramatic pieces that hang in the Signal restaurant, each sporting a range of kitchenware and household items, crockery and glassware in brass, copper, crystal and porcelain.

Many of these objects have had a life before they became part of Jacques’ creation and he acknowledges that time plays an important part in every creation. “Time ultimately owns everything,” he says, “and we are lucky enough to be the custodians of a specific piece at a specific time. That is part of the beauty.”

• Koncept Design, Architecture and Interiors, Jacques Erasmus: 082 412 5194, jacques@konceptdesign.co.za

• African Sketchbook, Anne Thistleton: 021 715 6025, www.africansketchbook.com

• Cape Grace: www.capegrace.com