What once was a dream became a reality when the co-owner of Art Bistro in Hartbeespoort, once, on a hot summer night took a photo of her friend whilst Eskom played their part.


Heidi Barnard co-owner and the photographer of the accompanying photo realised the next day that the specific photo was the answer to a dream that she had for many years. It represents an answer that also comes with a bigger inspiration when another accomplished photographer explained to her that the method used by her to take the specific photo is basically impossible and that the photo is actually an art piece.

My friends, his family, we all were together on a specific night. Just before the photo was taken, my friend came out of the swimming pool. 

There were no electricity and as he was sitting at our huge dining table, with the standard candle stand, lit with the candles, I then decided to experiment with my advanced camera that I have recently got.

I never had regarded myself as professional but that evening, with the soft lights of the candle on his face, I just had to take the photo.

It was not easy since we had to make sure that there was enough light on his face, depicting his wet hair, and his features that were softened by the light.

Without using a tri-pod, I then stabilised the camera and took the photo, whilst he had to ensure that his hands doesn't get burned by the wax dripping from the candles. The next day, the meaning of the photo dawned upon me.

He, a known doctor of this area, always willing to assist other people, saving lives, bringing babies into life, his arms encircling the light, the three candles, all these aspects were a clear indication to me that God has given me a talent that I should use. Not only to practice photography but also to assist other people in experimenting with this medium, the printing and exhibiting of their work.

As a Christian this photograph has a deeper meaning than what most people will ever understand. The three candles representing my Creator, in other words, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The two arms of a man encircling the light, his hands so much bigger, this makes the photo something that I would only regard as a "happening" created by God, the magnificent moment captured by God, through me.

It is for this reason that I have decided to use the photo as the official logo of the Art Bistro because it is Him that has never stopped with creating. Him that creates opportunities, create jobs, circumstances where I can have a venue from where I can be associated with art, not only photography, artwork by professional and known painters as well as those aspiring.

Combining the above with good food, performing arts, art classes, framing of paintings providing a venue from where events, amongst them, fund-raising for the poor, the destitute, provides for an unique opportunity to give thanks to Him that has created me with love and to share that with others."

The Art Bistro is a place where one's love of art and one's love of food converge to bring you a kaleidoscope of senses all squeezed into one venue. A venture which started out as a way to bring young photographers into the light has now grown into an opportunity for artists, photographers and art lovers alike.

This quaint but lavish gallery brings all the elegance of the old-world as well as the edge of contemporary design and new-age art together to create a space where everyone is welcome, be it a youth looking to update their dreary surroundings or a wiser soul wanting to introduce a little eloquence into their life in a world where such things have long been forgotten. Visit the Art Bistro and live your life in art.