Cleaners jumping on a bed in front of the Mount Nelson Hotel. Surfers jumping on a bed on Muizenberg beach. A kid doing flips on a bed in the Bo-Kaap. And the Reverend Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his boardroom – also jumping on a bed. Everyone seems willing to jump onboard for Kelly Wainwright’s newest project: Play Jump Eat.
A year ago Wainwright had a vision to take people and put them in outrageously entertaining contexts. With the help of South African photographer Inge Prins, she managed to lug a bed around the city of Cape Town and get people to do what some had probably not done for a number of decades. “The idea was for it to be something classic and universal that we’ve all done at some stage of our lives,” explains Wainwright. Her idea of bed jumping has since taken off in leaps and bounds.
As if carrying a bed around wasn’t tiring enough, it doesn’t just stop there. Magnificent feasts on mountainsides and dressing trees in brilliant fabrics are the other ideas taking root through this project. The best way to describe this “out of the box” vision is to stick to five simple words: beauty, joy, juxtaposition, play and abundance. The rest is about being the crazier, the better.
Wainwright studied interior architecture at the University of Oregon and quickly realised that she needed more freedom and a chance to be creative without boundaries. After quitting her job and going on a folk-song tour she began working at an apple stall and painting signs, which in a twist of fate led to gallery exhibitions and an unexpected painting career.
Now in Cape Town, Wainwright feels that this city is not only the perfect palette to express her perpetual need to create, but also to give back. An auction will help to sell all the quirky photographs taken for Play Jump Eat and the funds raised will go to the Tertia Kindo Arts Project, a dance school in the Ocean View community near Fishhoek.