The construction of a retreat to accommodate approximately 50 artists in a park like setting , where they could relax and be inspired was the dream behind the construction of the Hamburg artist retreat.
Sod-turning for the Hamburg Artists’ Retreat took place on 30 August 2010. Construction started the following month, employing some 40 local Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers on the site at any given time. This led to workers being trained in a number of focus areas, including manhole construction, plumbing, carpentry and brick laying.
Through a process of community and municipal engagement, the retreat was branded and a new name that reflects its purpose and location: Emthonjeni, which means spring or well, a place of sweet water.