Joburg local Justin Dingwall shares his list of hangouts in the City of Gold guaranteed to light your creative fire.

Visual artist and fine art photographer, Justin Dingwall, isn’t afraid of questioning societal norms, and his work has gained acclaim both locally and abroad. With a focus on exploring the aesthetics of albinism and vitiligo, his series Albus and A Seat At The Table force us to consider what is perceived as ‘beautiful’. But where does Justin get his inspiration? A lot of it comes from the world around him. ‘There’s such a beautiful energy in Johannesburg. Nothing beats the vibe, the atmosphere and the people that inspire me within this city. As a creative, it’s very important for me to engage with what’s around me, and that’s why I love Joburg so much. There are so many different types of people and cultural groups here. There’s an energy, a hum around the city that feeds my creativity.’ Turns out, it takes good food to fuel all that creative energy too. Arts and eats in Joburg

‘The Johannesburg Art Gallery is one of my favourite venues in the CBD. It’s a standing museum that has contemporary, as well as old, art and it’s so inspirational to wander through there. Looking at other work is what makes my own work so bright and vibrant. Apart from my work as a visual artist, I’m a commercial photographer as well, and I work with fashion brands and advertising agencies on the creation of certain products. You need to be engaging with all different art forms and what they encompass, so I’m always listening to music, looking at fashion, drawing inspiration from illustrators, painters, sculptors and other creatives. Some of my work is very sculptural, and that’s based on art history and what’s been done by other people. It’s all about taking that art, reinterpreting it and making it my own, and re-engaging with it.

I absolutely love going to 44 Stanley. It’s slightly inside the city, slightly outside the city, and it’s a great place to meet people. I love the food there, too. You can get anything from Italian to café fare, and there’s a great energy about the place.

Another one of my favourite spots is Keyes Art Mile. It’s a strip of art galleries in Rosebank, and I love seeing what other artists are exhibiting there. One of my favourite burger joints, BGR, happens to be there as well. I love grabbing a burger there on a Friday afternoon.’


Road tripping for #inspo

‘I used to fly everywhere, until a couple of years ago when I discovered the joys of driving through South Africa. I love Tsitsikamma and Storms River, and always stop off in Graaff-Reinet or the Mountain Zebra National Park on the way down to the east coast. Durban also plays a huge role in my creativity, because of the Art Deco styles to be found in the old city.

It always takes a few days for me to get anywhere that’s outside Joburg, because I tend to jump out the car all the time to take photos. If I find something inspirational, I’ll take a photo of it, and use that at a later stage, reinterpreting it in my work. I’m always taking in the things around me. As a creative, you have to.’