Ellerman House, BMW and Nic Bladen collaborate to a bespoke South African masterpiece
Cape Town’s iconic hotel, Ellerman House has collaborated with BMW and renowned South African artist, Nic Bladen to create a bespoke masterpiece, expanding their collection of exceptional African art with an innovative and experiential twist by using a BMW 7 Series as the canvas. More than a just car, the vehicle is an original work of art embodying the culture and geography of Cape Town.
Ellerman House celebrates local culture and roots in every aspect of the property, with each detail carefully curated to cultivate an experience that is authentically South African. The BMW pays homage to the local environment and Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the smallest yet richest of the world’s six Floral Kingdoms, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its ‘Fynbos’ which has infused itself into the Cape’s art, history and cuisine.
Through expert artistry, Nic pioneered a technique to develop perfect castings of organic matter using ‘cire perdue’ or ‘lost wax casting.’ By preserving leaves, flowers and sometimes entire plants in bronze and sterling silver, Nic showcases the rich biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom in his work. Nic Bladen’s wish for guests of Ellerman House, who admire the interior trim panels designed by him while riding in the BMW 745Le xDrive, is to later recognize the plants immortalized there in the wild, in order to remember not only the luxurious driving experience, but also the diverse vegetation of South Africa, which is so worth protecting.
For this project, Nic worked with skilled guitar maker and furniture designer, Colin Rock, to deep sink and infuse his botanical sculpture castings into the panels of the BMW, while still giving each sculpture visual artistic dimensions. The result is a harmonious blend of technology and fine craftsmanship to create a masterpiece and experience that celebrates native roots, flora, and the journey of travel. The BMW just launched this November and will transfer guests to and from the hotel for arrival and departure, elevating the Ellerman House experience for to guests.
Watch the entire project come together and unfold through this 6-part story: