At times over the last year South Africa has existed in a modern era of prohibition - our freedoms curtailed for the greater good. But in the face of adversity our nation's spirit of endeavour prevailed. We hustled, we adapted, we survived and we collaborated. Creativity and innovation thrived.
Thought he trails of lockdown, Cape Town artist Jasmine Jagger challenged herself to let go of barriers- she found inspiration in the intricacies of daily life and in the meanderings of her mind. While spending a significant amount of time at home, Jasmine yearned for adventure.
Inspired by a Bottle of Musgrave Original Gin, Jasmine found herself daydreaming of the pith helmeted derring-do of Maurice Boom Musgrave, grandfather of the founder of Musgrave Gin, Simone Musgrave. Maurice left Plymouth in 1949 bound for Africa to start a new life exploring, trading and discovering the people and the land.
In the throes of lockdown, in Jasmine’s studio in Cape Town, she painted a tribute to Maurice Boon Musgrave which features the Gin Pirate - a symbol of adventure and great courage in the face of adversity. Jasmine explains that, “When I painted this piece, South Africa was in a hard lockdown — alcohol was banned and I was fantasising of bootlegging and of swashbuckling rebellion.”
Art exists in many forms. From the stroke of a brush to the shaping of a bottle. And from the bold use of colour to the balancing of rare botanicals. Simone and Jasmine decided to put their formidable creative talents together to produce a limited edition bottle of Musgrave Original showcasing Jasmine’s vibrant art and celebrating six years since the first bottle of Musgrave was sold in South Africa.
“When Jasmine showed me the work she had created I was struck by the incredible synergy between our bespoke spirits and contemporary African art. There was a clear opportunity to collaborate on a unique product design that so vividly captured the essence of our journeys over the last 12 months,” explains Simone Musgrave.
Musgrave Original Gin is made up of a selection of 11 botanicals, including African Ginger and Grains of Paradise — each reflecting some aspect of the ancient African Spice Route. Cardamom tones and other spices complement a flavour profile that spans a continent.
Jasmine Jagger will be exhibiting at the Candice Berman Gallery in Johannesburg. The exhibition will open with a special launch of Musgrave Eleven on 27 May.