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Lesley Perkes, CEO of artatwork, player of parts, writer, speaker-performer and general mischief-maker, harnesses decades of experience in the arts in public space to offer audiences the time of their lives.

Bespoke sessions – shorter and longer - are inevitable for people who have heard everything. Leisurely Perkules (as she is sometimes called by a secret admirer), will find a way in to your organisation / group strategy and reflect ideas relevant to her own experience - in a way that will surprise you and blow you away like a beautiful red kite. She likes making herself useful. Often in unexpected and unusual collaborations.

Available for humans, groups, conference and event organisers seeking fresh ginger up their tails and maybe a big surprise, Lesley's style and content is particularly South African in a complicated way which is appropriate, although in the local context she tackles some serious planetary issues, without losing her deranged sense of humour and a focus on working like a happy dog.  Perfect for bored audiences who have seen everything and would just love to experience a bolt out of the blue.



Below are examples of Hot Instant Sessions which are always tailored so you'd swear they were Pret-a-Talker:


Who should attend? This session is excellent for any audience, individuals of any age, anywhere, including corporate, government and society/non-profit groups.

A session that takes audiences into a world they are so used to they have forgotten to live in it. Neighbourhood Target Practice is about improving your mind, heart and atmosphere.

The talk uses case-studies and drama to snap audiences out of their uncomfortable and / or bored zones, into what to do when confronted with habitual funk, eyesores, neglect and forms to complete.

This session is about taking action to make beauty all around you – with very little resources – at your place of work, at home, within your neighbourhood and wherever you are.

Timing: 20-30 minutes + discussion

Technology requirement: Data projector and set up assistance.



Who should attend? This session is specifically targeted at property developers and owners, urban planners and designers, architects, district managers and professionals working in the built environment in South Africa and wherever our own particular (especially urban) calamities may find a mirror.

A session that puts an unusual perspective on the arts in public space while questioning the nature of the latter when it comes to the development of properties that are privately managed and exclusive.

The talk uses case-studies locally and internationally to show how using your imagination – with or without powerful resources and funding – to improve districts, places, property development and management – can and does increase asset value. A specifically South African focus is highlighted, asking and answering questions about what kind of places we have inherited and how to claim and reinvent our aesthetic for ourselves. We were never normal.

Issues of long-term confidence, risk, value and what is and what is not ‘nice-to-have’ are looked at strategically and operationally – towards the development of practical plans to create distinct and memorable developments - that attract increased traffic and, ultimately, increased income. Nevermind you actually get to live while you are alive.

Timing: 30-40 minutes + discussion

Technology requirement: Data projector and set up assistance.



Who should attend? Tailored for government and corporate role players (and dreamers and poets and people like that) involved in the development of South African national identity, so-called branding and image building. Government marketers, advertising and public relations consultants and marketing professionals interested in improving their alignment with the national effort for nation building and increased international tourism not to mention having a story to tell, will find the session useful and inspiring.

This session considers the effort to build South African national identity and so-called African-ness in a contemporary style that puts the onus on us - we the people with so many challenges ... and our aspirations. The talk uses case-studies locally and internationally to show how massive the aesthetic challenge is – and how easy it is to respond to - in small, community-driven styles as well as via spectacular skyline changing initiatives. Exercise and delicious good food helps.

The difference between national pride / patriotism and love of land and people is considered, how to focus attention on what is great, how powerful our intellectual and creative capital has the potential to be and what it feels like to be targeted by foreign investors as a ‘country at the point of maximum pessimism’ while locals invest elsewhere. When the opposite is staring us in the face and could be true.

Lesley brings her years of experience working within the national aesthetic on large and small projects as well as a 2-year (very long) stint with the International Marketing Council of South Africa to bear in what is undoubtedly both a provocative and fruitful challenge.


Timing: 30 minutes + discussion

Technology requirement: Data projector and set up assistance.




Bethea Clayton

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