Creatives by the Coast

The Ballito MagazineDecember 19, 2023

Carving your path and following your passion takes incredible courage and perseverance. We got to meet inspiring local women who have turned their talents into a career.

 

Photo by Derryn Schmidt

Kerry Michau has been painting her entire life. “I studied an honours degree in fine art at the University of Stellenbosch and work in both watercolour and oils.” She paints everything from miniature abstract watercolours to bold contemporary botanicals, tropical jungle scenes and aerial seascapes. So, Ballito provides the most spectacular inspiration for Kerry.

 

“A common thread running through my work is my exploration of the relationship between different colours,” Kerry explains. She doesn’t stick to one recognisable style and is fascinated by so many different types of painting which she explores to grow as an artist. Nature is her biggest inspiration and capturing light in nature is a common theme in her work.

 

“I am very lucky to have been offered wall space by the awesome friends and owners of Ray’s Kitchen and Salt Rock Coffee Company, which are amazing opportunities to showcase my work in fabulous spaces. I just love the sense of community that we have found in Ballito!” Check out her Instagram, @kerrymichau_artist, to see her latest projects!

 

Donna Kruger and Marina Prodromos are aerial performers and instructors at Flipside Aerial, a female-owned business teaching aerial silks and hoop.

 

Born and raised in Ballito, Donna grew up knowing she wanted to become a teacher. “I moved to Cape Town where I completed my degree and started my teaching career,” Donna shares. When a friend talked her into trying a pole fitness class, she was hooked after the first lesson. “I moved back to Ballito and joined a local aerial studio that offered pole fitness, aerial hoop, hammock and silks. My instructor inspired me to try all the apparatuses and the studio quickly became my second home and safe space.” Donna now has her own studio with over 70 students and has since employed two other instructors, including Marina.

 

While completing her degree in speech therapy and audiology at Wits University, Marina began aerial yoga at a small studio in Johannesburg. She obtained her aerial yoga instructor’s licence in 2018 and her aerial silks and hammocks instructor’s licence at the end of 2020.

 

“In 2022, I decided to relocate to beautiful Ballito,” Marina shares. “After almost a year, I came across Flipside Aerial and met Donna. I felt relieved to meet someone so genuine and talented who shares the same passion as me.” After some time, she began teaching for Flipside Aerial and, with Donna’s advice, opened Aerial Flow out of Flipside’s premises in October 2022. “In just eight months, I am in awe of how popular the classes have become. Small-town Ballito had A LOT to offer indeed!”

 

Together, Donna and Marina also perform at various events under Flipside Performance, the performance side of the business. They have showcased their talent at birthday parties, weddings, KZN Sports Awards, corporate events, restaurant launches and many more. Their performances include using hoops, hammocks or silk to capture attention, and they can even serve drinks to guests at different angles from their apparatus! Follow @flipside_aerial to see where they’re going next.

 

Monique Hattingh is a local freelance artist and designer who has a passion for creating beautiful baby mobiles and painting murals. “All of my mobiles are different from each other. I start a sketch and design a mobile that fits my style. Every piece is handmade by myself and thought out to the smallest detail.” She also does commission work for people asking her to paint a specific character from a show they love! “I like being different and creative. Painting and drawing are my favourite things to do.”

 

In March 2020, Monique had to study from home due to COVID, with her now husband, in Ballito. In 2021, she made an art piece for her uncle as an anniversary gift for his wife, which sparked her passion. “The first big project I did was for Ballito Hills where I painted an exterior mural inspired by the film Moana at their Lifestyle Centre kids’ play area,” she mentions. “I was inspired to make baby mobiles

when I made one as a gift for one of our friends who were expecting a little girl. They just loved it!” she elaborates. “I also enjoyed making them, and seeing their expressions gave me so much joy. That’s when I knew I wanted to create more and make new families happy.” Visit @bohstrial_halos to have a look at her work.

 

These ladies are inspirational and incredible! We can’t wait to see what other phenomenal things they do with their talent.

 

Opening photo by Derryn Schmidt 

Words by Cristina Govender