The Cape Palampore


The Cape Palampore, a giant Porcelain tiled mural depicting a Cape Tree of Life, came to be after artists Michael Chandler and Lucie de Moyencourt where both individually asked to participate in an artists competition for the commission by the wine farm Bosjes, in Ceres.

The scale of the project was so daunting and huge ( 6 x 6m) the artists decided it would be a much more enjoyable process to collaborate on a presentation, which eventually won the commission.

After a site visit around the farm, in the mud, and finding remains of blue and white ceramic shards on the farm, Michael asked the question: "if these shards where seeds, What would the tree look like? "   and so the tree of life concept emerged, with all of the elements of the tree being related to the past, present and future of this specific farm.  

the tree's general structure is that of the Indian Palampore textiles which came past the Cape in the 18th Century.  

The Cobalt Blue paint which the artists used references the shards found on the site, as well as the trade routes past the Cape and the treasured Ceramic items which families kept in their houses such as this one.  


a list of plant and animal species from the farm was drawn up which the artists went about depicting all over the tree of life.  

The mountains of the ground floor mimic exactly the silhouette of the Bosjeskloof mountains , the backdrop of the mural

the serpentine like "Spirit of the tree which winds its way around the trunk of the tree was painted by the kids of the farm workers representing the future of the farm, the kids did a one day workshop with the artists and each painted their own tiles, as well as the spirit of the tree.

It took 6 months of painting, to complete the painting of all 366 tiles which comprise this mural