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features

Utterly The Studios

The estate’s creative types are inspired by its


leafy surroundings. As such, there are quite a
number of art studios and schools in the area.
Geeleinan Singapore
1 Whitchurch Road, #02-03, Singapore 138941;
Opening Hours: 11am to 5pm (Monday to

Bohemian
Drop by the Village Square and pick up a map Wednesday), 11am to 5pm (Friday and Saturday);
of the area. Tel: [65] 9818 8407, [65] 6479 1974;
www.geeleinan.com
Cabaleiro de Meuser Art & Design
Cabaleiro de Meuser Art & Design 5 Westbourne Road, #01-02, Singapore 138944; Gee Michaud’s gallery feels more like a home than
Opening hours: depends on class schedule; an actual gallery. Perhaps it is the colours and
Tel: [65] 9620 4997; www.cdem.com.sg sense of movement in her paintings and sculptures,
further emphasised by the clean, white walls and
Brazilian-born Patricia wanted to star t an ar t minimal furnishing. Perhaps it is the owner-artist
school while she was studying and teaching art herself, who greets visitors as if they were guests
techniques in Germany. So it culminated in her to her home. Whichever the case, it is wor th

(We mean it this time)


current studio/gallery/school at Wessex that offers exchanging a yarn or two with Gee.
workshops for budding artists. Ladies, take note,
she has tie-ups with Klee to run her Girls Nights Joyce Loo
during which she will introduce an artist and a 10 Woking Road #01-01, Singapore 138691;
technique, and you get to try cocktails from Klee. Opening Hours: by appointment only;
text and photography by edwin tam additional images courtesy of cabaleiro de meuser art & design, cicada, d’art Studio, fringe benefits, It happens every second Wednesday of the month Tel: [65] 9838 6765; joyceloolf@gmail.com
geeleinan singapore, joyce loo, marisa keller, palate sensations, ristorante pietrasanta, sealey brand, studio arts and studio roberts Joyce Loo
from 8pm to 11pm. Materials, refreshments and
three cocktails included. Joyce Loo prefers tactile sensations. The pottery-
maker imbues a primal and tribal feel into her un-

Wessex Estate
D’Art Studio usually odd and oblong creations. Her spick and
5 Westbourne Road, #02-03, Singapore 138941; span gallery is a neat showcase of all her pottery
Opening Hours: 11am to 6pm (Monday to creations. We have never gone into her workshop
Saturday); Tel: [65] 6479 7906; but we are quite sure that she would be happy to
www.d-artstudio.com.sg show it to you. Just ask.
Wessex Estate bears some resemblance to Dempsey
Hill – they are both set in the middle of untamed Opened by Dick (or Chye as some call him), a for- Marisa Keller
and quiet foliage, boast pretty black and white mer veteran of the advertising industry, this fine 28 Woking Road #03-05 Singapore 138706;
buildings, and are as un-Singaporean as you can arts gallery (formerly a graphic design house) now Opening Hours: by appointment only;
get without leaving the city. showcases his personal oil paintings and waterco- Tel: [65] 9653 5051; marisakeller@mac.com
lours of life as he sees it.
But unlike Dempsey, this leafy and mostly quiet Marisa’s painting and printmaking studio uses non-
estate is truly bohemian. Fringe Benefits toxic materials – acrylics and water-based materials
D’Art Studio
5B Portsdown Road, #01-01, Singapore 139311; – for her prints. It is certainly good news for her
Apart from its laid-back demeanour and knolls un- Opening Hours: by appointment only; students and the environment. For her, the draw lies
Marisa Keller
crowded by fancy cars, this estate is known for art Tel: [65] 9655 8293; fringebenefits@singnet.com.sg in Wessex’s artistic community where like-minded
studios run by the artists, designers and creative artists “meet up, share latest developments in our
types who paint, design, sculpt, mould, photo- Helene’s little arts studio is located round the works, organise exhibitions or just catch up”.
graph, teach art and, in some cases, live within the corner from Laurent’s Café and Chocolate Bar. Apart
black and white buildings. from showcasing the works of local artists in her Palate Sensations
Fringe Benefits gallery, the LASALLE lecturer also offers vocational 1 Westbourne Road, #03-05, Singapore 138941;
While patrons might not see or recognise Wessex’s and educational classes in art-related subjects Opening Hours: depends on class schedule;
artistic inhabitants (after all, they do not carry sign- that are aimed at adults, teens and professionals. Tel: [65] 6479 9025; www.palatesensations.com
boards proclaiming their vocation), their influence The free-spirited Art Jam, held on weekends, is a
is palpable especially in Wessex Village Square. The madcap afternoon of music and art. Conveniently situated just opposite Colbar, this
Village Square, formerly occupied by the Singapore lifestyle cooking school has workshops covering
Judo Federation, now houses several swanky F&B a variety of international cuisines from French to
outlets. And each outlet is decorated by art pieces Mediterranean and Asian cuisines from Chinese to
created by neighbouring art studios. Vietnamese. The classes are fully hands-on and run
at a relaxed pace. To top it off, they are conducted
Obviously, both parties, F&B outlets and art stu- by guest chefs from notable restaurants, such as
dios, are the better for it: the artists get publicity Senso, Flutes at the Fort and DOMVS.
and a chance to sell their works; the F&B outlets
look better and receive good karma. More impor-
tantly, it is a revival of a kampung (village) spirit,
albeit with a mod makeover, where individuals work
together to promote the larger community.
Geeleinan Singapore
Now, that is what bohemian should be.

Palate Sensations

118 © 2007 Page One Publishing Private Limited | Permission is granted for this article to be reproduced in its original form solely for non-commercial use. No part of this article may be reproduced or 119
distributed for commercial intents or purposes without written permission from the publisher.
Eat and Drink

Like the estate, the F&B outlets invoke a sense Laurent’s Café & Chocolate Bar
of languor and timelessness. For those who 5B Portsdown Road, #01-02, Singapore 139311;
Sealey Brandt Photography fear that the estate’s popularity will create an Opening Hours: 12pm to 11pm (Monday to Friday),
explosion of F&B outlets, rest assured that 10 am to 11 pm (Saturday to Sunday);
the developers plan to keep the status quo. Tel: [65] 6475 9410;
www.thechocolatefactoryonline.com
Cicada
7 Portsdown Road, Singapore 139298; Opening Laurent Bernard, the owner, opened his second
Hours: 12pm to 3pm, 6.30pm to 10pm (Monday chocolate bar in Wessex Estate because “it is calm,
to Sunday), Bar Opening Hours: 12pm to 12am charming and close to the city”. Apart from their
(Monday to Friday), 12pm to 1am (Saturday and signature chocolate pralines and desserts, the café
Sunday); Tel: [65] 6472 2100; follows “a French tradition, where those who live
www.thecicada.com.sg in the village, stop at a café on the way home to
meet others, exchange news and experience life.”
Wessex’s second F&B outlet resembles a stripped Their corridor seats facing Portsdown Road are
Studio Roberts Sealey Brandt Photography Studio Arts
down version of Hacienda. Unlike Hacienda, possibly the best places to experience Laurent’s
which is primarily a chill-out pub, Cicada offers village living.
substantial, French/California-influenced meals
– their “infamous” Cicada Burger is a weighty affair Ristorante Pietrasanta
Laurent’s Café & Chocolate Bar
of onions, mushrooms, cheeses and beef. We think 5B Portsdown Road, #01-03, Singapore 139311;
Sealey Brandt Photography its best asset is the alfresco area of wicker chairs, Opening Hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to
1 Westbourne Road, #01-02, Singapore 138941; lush foliage and Survivor-like torches. 10.30pm (Wednesday to Monday);
Opening Hours: by appointment only; Tel: [65] 6479 9521; www.ristorante-pietrasanta.com
Tel: [65] 9005 3487; www.sealeybrandt.com Colbar
9A Whitchurch Road, Singapore 138839; Opening This little restaurant is a hit with Wessex’s residents
Melbourne-born Sealey Brandt gives a standard Hours: 11am to 12pm (Tuesday to Sunday), last order who patronise it for Massimini Loris’ – also owner-
photography niche a new twist. She specialises at 8pm; Tel: [65] 6779 4859; cash only chef of La Pizzaiola at Holland Drive – homely
in taking black and white family-oriented photos. cooking such as black mussel (S$18) and ravioli
While it does not sound terribly exciting, it is Regulars love this place for its unpretentious f illed with meat and sausage (S$18.90). As its
amazing that she somehow manages to get both demeanour, cheap food and incredible variety of name implies, it pays homage to the Tuscan town
children and adults to open up in front of the Klee Cicada British beers and ales. We love it because it’s got of Pietrasanta, not just with food but also by its
camera; resulting in remarkably spontaneous history. Having been around since 1948, Colbar is décor of unvarnished wooden seatings, plain walls
photos. According to Brandt, photos that are shot full of well-aged memorabilia: photos of long gone tastefully decorated with artworks from Wessex’s
on film and hand-processed in the darkroom are English football teams and military regiments; artists and stained glass art depicting old scenes
100 per cent honest – just like the children whom faded blue building beams; and semi-permanent from Italian towns.
she photographs. fixtures of elderly expats around tables cluttered
with beer bottles.
Studio Arts
27 Woking Road, #01-01, Singapore 138705; Klee
Opening hours: by appointment only; 5B Portsdown Road #01-04 Singapore 139311; GETTING THERE
Tel: [65] 9367 7382; www.kellyreedy.com Opening Hours: 5pm to 1am (Monday to
Saturday); Tel: [65] 6479 6911 Where:
Kelly Reedy’s mixed media collages are influenced Wessex Estate is bounded by Portsdown Road,
by world myths, symbols and imagery. Although she Singapore sorely lacks strong and tasty cocktails the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad railway and
has been in Singapore for ten years, her studio only with a touch of class. Thus it was a pleasant surprise Portsdown Avenue. It is situated just next to fast-
came about since 2006, which according to her, “is when we discovered Klee (named after the painter, emerging Biopolis. Enter from North Buona Vista
a platform to showcase art, create a space where Paul Klee). The bar, housed in a single-storey Road or Ayer Rajah Expressway.
artists, musicians and writers can collaborate, and Ristorante Pietrasanta building, serves only cocktails made from premium
a venue for art enrichment workshops”. and ultra-premium liquors, aged liqueur infusions Parking:
and fresh ingredients. The bar’s spartan décor of It suffers from a paucit y of parking lots. Tr y
Studio Roberts a bar counter lined with retro chairs – although the front of Wessex Village Square or along
28 Woking Road, #02-03, Singapore 138706; somewhat offset by curated artworks on the walls Whitchurch Road.
Opening Hours: by appointment only; – gives patrons front-row seats as bartenders
julia@studioroberts.com; www.studioroberts.com muddle, shake and stir their cocktails. Public Transport:
Take SBS Bus Service 191 from Buona Vista MRT
Julia Roberts is primarily a landscape painter. Why? station and drop off at Wessex Village Square.
It has everything to do with subject familiarity. After Or you can take a 15-minute walk starting from
all, “when you know your subject as well as I do; in Commonwealth MRT Station, and through the
these paintings, it is easier to take your work one Tanglin Halt and Commonwealth Drive estates.
step further than straightforward representation.” Cicada
She was attracted to Wessex Estate for its green
and tranquil environment, the apartment’s lofty
dimensions, and lighting quality in her studio
– “especially early in the morning when my space
Colbar
really glows.”

120 © 2007 Page One Publishing Private Limited | Permission is granted for this article to be reproduced in its original form solely for non-commercial use. No part of this article may be reproduced or 121
distributed for commercial intents or purposes without written permission from the publisher.

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