Welcome to Week 34 of my #Gauteng52 challenge, for which I visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. This week I visit the Blue Door Print Studio, inside Melville’s mysterious Pink Church.
On the southeastern edge of Melville — technically it’s in Richmond but I consider it Melville — is a mysterious Pink Church with white trim. For a long time it was abandoned, then it briefly became an antique shop although the shop rarely looked open. Some people say the Pink Church is haunted.
I’ve driven past the Pink Church about 500 times and was always curious. I never went in.
Last month I saw an article in the Northcliff Melville Times titled “Building Transformed into Print Haven”. The article said the Pink Church has become the Blue Door Print Studio. I learned that the building was built in 1904, and it was indeed a Methodist church back in the day. Later on it was a synagogue, which somehow makes the Pink Church even more fascinating.
Two days later, I finally went to the Pink Church.
The Pink Church and the Blue Door
The Pink Church is indeed a print studio, run by master printer Collin Cole. Collin has kept the outside of the church pink but painted the inside red. The interior, which looks even more church-like than the outside, is one of the most beautiful, eclectic art spaces in Joburg. And that’s really saying something.
The name “Blue Door Print Studio” comes from Collin’s former studio in Parktown North. That studio had a Blue Door, and Collin brought the door with him to the church. The Blue Door now stands in the garden.
Marie-Lais and I went to the Blue Door Print Studio on a weekday morning and met Collin and his terrier, Max. I was enchanted by the studio, I was enchanted by Collin, and most of all I was enchanted by Max.
In addition to being an accomplished artist, Collin has been teaching printmaking in South Africa for decades. He is offering various printmaking courses at the studio and will also be holding exhibitions in the gallery.
Collin’s current Foundation Printmaking course is running from 19 August to 7 October, but keep an eye on the Blue Door website for announcements about future courses. You can also contact Collin on the Blue Door Facebook page to arrange a time to visit the Pink Church with a Blue Door. (That’s what I did.)
The Blue Door Print Studio is 24 Chatou Road, Richmond. Call +27-82-924-6673 or email [email protected].