DURBAN’S CREATIVE SCENE IS BUZZING IN THE STATION DRIVE PRECINCT AND BEYOND
In just a few short years, Durban, South Africa’s Station Drive Precinct has grown from a rundown warehouse district to the go-to spot to eat, drink, shop, and play like the city’s creative class. Thanks to a collaborative group of artistic individuals, businesses ranging from homegrown distilleries and breweries to locally produced home décor stores, art galleries, and coffee shops line the area. Station Drive Precinct is also home to the Morning Trade market on Sundays and a family friendly First Thursday open gallery program.
Station Drive Precinct is an ideal place for visitors to be inspired by Durban’s innovative energy, and there are plenty of other art-infused experiences that capture the spirit of this seaside city and its people, both past and present. The following attractions are great ways to experience a truly cultured take on the destination:
DURBAN STREET ART
Originally associated with local gangs, street art has found new life in redevelopment projects across various Durban neighborhoods. Durban’s street artists are inspired by their surroundings, with many exploring themes of politics and nature and using their work as a form of social activism. Louis de Villiers aka Skullboy, Sakhile Mhlongo, and Daniel Chapman aka Mook Lion are just a few of the prolific street artists to look out for. Tour companies like Street Scene provide visitors with plenty of context during half-day graffiti tours that come complete with lunch at a local pub.
I HEART MARKET
I Heart Market is a food and design market held at Moses Madhiba Stadium on the first Saturday of each month. It is a great spot to shop for locally produced goods and artisanal creations ranging from ceramics to crochet toys, original prints, home goods, and more.
THE BAT CENTRE
At Durban’s BAT Centre, visitors can meet local artists and crafters who work on-site, exhibiting and selling their works in a vibrant, harbor-site complex. Founded in 1995, this nonprofit arts center is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and celebration of the visual arts, crafts, music, dance, and literature of KwaZulu-Natal Province. It has become a must-visit spot for visitors seeking to learn about the region’s cultural heritage, enjoy performances, and shop for original artwork. The BAT Centre is also home to a drum shop selling a variety of African instruments.
AFRICAN ART CENTRE
Founded in 1959, the African Art Centre on Florida Road is designed to preserve traditional forms of arts and crafts while promoting financial empowerment and self-sufficiency among underprivileged South Africans. The African Art Centre helps those in townships and rural areas hone their crafting skills including beadwork, ceramics, traditional Zulu baskets, textiles, and more. The colorful works of art are on display in the gallery and available for purchase at the on-site gift shop. Every purchase made helps provide a sustainable income for some of the more than 1,000 crafters associated with the African Art Centre.