Peter Machen is a staple of the durban creative scene. Well respected and well informed, if there is something interesting happening in Durban, “He Knows!”. After studying economics, he promptly became an art and film critic and stuck with that for the last 20 years. He divides his time between, freelance copywriting, editing, art direction and graphic design. His favorite personal pursuits are book designing and the occasional exhibition of his own artworks. Peter lived in CT for 2 years but he missed the real Africa – the Zulu people, the Indian ocean and good curries. He has been back in Durban for many years and says, ‘It is a place of incredible freedom if you choose to take it, the city is a nurturer of creative talent with a huge proportion of creative people in JHB and CT having come from Durban.’
Peter has an obsessive personality- he finds growing vegetables addictive, is a dedicated recycler and never throws anything away. He collects many things, but is more concerned with acquiring a full set than collecting things for their intrinsic value alone. He has an entire flock of ceramic birds migrating across the walls of his house, ceramic animals, african masks, records and art give his space intense depth and texture. When it comes to the art, he is both critical and discerning, but he only buys pieces that he loves. His vast music collection includes not only artists that he likes now but also music he knows he will come to enjoy in the future, he is also dedicated to buying any South African pressings and Zulu singles he can get his hands on- regardless of whether he likes them or not!
His home, set amongst trees with a magical view of Durban, is a visual feast. Enjoy this journey into the many fascinations of Peter Machen…
Pictures by Tyrone Bradley and video by Clinton Nortje