Angelo’s Deli in Linden is one of my favourite hangouts, thanks to good coffee, tasty treats and free Wi-Fi. Oh, and of course my friend Angelo’s good company. Angelo’s has a regular last-Friday-of-the-month event and last night we had the pleasure of listening to artist Carol Slabolepszy, a resident of Linden, speak about her Hares and Graces.
Carol was born in the Eastern Cape, but grew up in Joburg. She started ballet dancing early in life, and progressed to dance for both PACT and CAPAB. In Cape Town she met and married actor Paul Slabolepszy, and when her first child was in nursery school, she decided to do a grand jeté out of there and into a Fine Arts degree at Wits Tech.
She developed a love of sculpture, and one of her early projects was a half-dog, half-human mother sculpture, symbolism to which I can wholly relate. At the end of her third year, Carol was awarded the Most Outstanding Student. Looking at her sculptures of hares, cats and the whippet she brought along, it’s not hard to see why she was recognised in this way. The animals are so lifelike that instinctively, anyone who comes into close contact with them puts their hand out to stroke them.
In the last three years, Carol has been focusing on the small animal sculptures – the hares in support of the Riverine Rabbit Trust (part of the Endangered Wildlife Trust) but also commissions for dearly departed cats and other small, life-sized creatures. When she walked into The Whippet in Linden a few years ago, she thought, “”The Whippet needs a Hare!” After she let that thought settle, she realised that The Whippet needed a whippet, and she had the owner take pictures of the whippet at the Whippet (nothing more important than reference, reference, reference!) and she created the most gorgeous whippet which now sits in a corner there.
Next Sunday, Carol is hosting an open day at her house in Linden from 10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. You will be able to see these beautiful creatures in their original habitat and find the perfect one for your home. These pets need no feeding or watering, they don’t bring gifts of bird entrails or run away and the vets’ bills are non-existent. Each one is already micro-chipped (for real!) and Carol has used her love of word-play to name each animal – with names like Hare Apparent. Do yourself a favour and pop in – you won’t be disappointed.