Catherine Raphaely’s new designer board game, Escape from Samsara, is as stylish as it is spiritually enlightening. The game was recently brought to life by way of an inspiring video production that incorporates local fashion and symbolic Plascon shades corresponding with the various chakra colours.
The game will be available in two variants. The cards pictured will be part of the democratically specced version, while gold-plated karma beans instead of resin, sculpted by Ida Elsje, will be part of the high-end version, along with other luxury detailing.
Think the quest to reach nirvana is a losing game? Enter Escape from Samsara – an intriguing new board game created by Catherine Raphaely.
The concept of the game is based on its namesake, Samsara – a Sanskrit word that refers to the Buddhist notion of the endless wheel of suffering, life, death and rebirth, says Catherine. “The way I see it is that we will keep returning to Earth until we stop repeating our mistakes and start learning our lessons.”
The bag, with fabric printed by Artlab, was made by the game’s graphic designer, Samantha Hendriks, who is responsible for the box, too.
As in life, players enter the game with their preordained karma and must attempt to move up the board by undergoing various chakra challenges. “These include testing ego, psychic ability, yoga prowess and knowledge relating to consciousness, religions and spirituality.”
“THE CHAKRA CHALLENGES’ VISUAL SPACES UTILISE OPTICAL ILLUSIONS TO CREATE INTERESTING EFFECTS, AND SYMBOLISE THE TRICKS OUR MINDS CAN PLAY ON US.”
The walls are painted in Plascon’s Sienna Sky (O2-B1-1), Desert Vista (O2-B1-2) and Spanish Brocade (O2-B1-3), matching the coral (sacral) chakra, associated with creativity, sexuality and emotions. Cariné Műller wears coat, shirt and pants from Imprint by Mzukisi Mbane, shoes from Espadril.
Karma – good and bad – is the currency of the game. “Players earn both types and can use it to reward, bribe and punish other players.”
Plascon’s French Kiss (R6-C1-1) and Mahogany Magic (R6-D1-1) correspond with the red (root) chakra said to symbolise survival, safety and nourishment from Earth’s energy. From left: Dune Siley wears dungarees from 2Bop, yarmulke short cap from Good Good Good, limited-edition Escape from Samsara crossbody bag from Missibaba, T-shirt and sneakers, model’s own. Ben Levin wears jacket from Thabo Makhetha, lace-ups from Maria McCloy, T-shirt and pants, model’s own. Mziyanda Malgas wears coat and jewellery from Imprint by Mzukisi Mbane, T-shirt from Mevrou & Co., zandals from Maria McCloy, jeans, model’s own.
The first player to reach the seventh crown chakra, also known as Sahasrara, wins – on condition that they have more good karma in their cosmic bank account than bad.
“COLOUR IS A CENTRAL COMPONENT OF THE CONCEPT, WHICH IS WHY WE CHOSE SPECIFIC PLASCON TONES THAT BEST CORRELATE TO THE CHAKRA COLOURS OF THE GAME.”
From dark to light, these walls sport Plascon’s Millionaire Gold (Y2-B1-1), Golden Syrup (Y2-B1-2) and Turkish Tart (Y2-B1-3), denoting the colour of the solar plexus chakra, which represents intellect and personal power. It’s framed by Quickshot (P1-D1-2). Demonstrating the Warrior pose, Mali Forder Jones wears Pichulik necklace, leotard and leggings, model’s own.
Walls painted in a combination of Plascon hues, symbolic of the heart chakra, from left: Millionaire Gold (Y2-B1-1), Deep Dragon (G2-E1-1), and Aspen Forest (G4-C1-4). Frances Marais wears coat and top from Ituen Basi, dress from H&M, zandals from Maria McCloy.
The game is comprised of several design elements handmade locally and is available in an entry-level and high-end variant, which includes gold-plated good karma beans, crystals to represent the players, and bags by Missibaba.
“WE WANTED SOPHISTICATED COLOURS THAT WERE VIBRANTLY JEWEL-LIKE IN THEIR INTENSITY, WITH AN ELEMENT OF DARKNESS – JUST LIKE LIFE.”
An invigorating complementary colour scheme is achieved by painting the walls in Plascon’s Oceanos (B6-C1-1) and Blueprint (B6-C1-2), in contrast with bright apparel. Yvette de Beer wears Ituen Basi and zandals from Maria McCloy
Catherine collaborated with Plascon to bring the game to life through a video production that showcases it in a fictitious space. The colours are based on the seven chakra colours: red, orange (coral), yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple.
A jewel-toned geometric wall adorned in a variety of hues including, from clockwise, Plascon’s Atlantic Storm (B3-C1-1), Luxor (B2-B1-3), Deep Dragon (G2-E1-1) and Rocking Mountain (Y5-D1-1). Wanida Keeping wears Nicholas Coutts, pom-pom earrings from Lucie de Moyencourt, shoes, model’s own.
Walls painted in a duo of blues, the colour of the throat chakra, which refers to self- and creative expression. Plascon’s Oceanos (B6-C1-1) and Nautilous (B6-D1-1) were used. Lupemba Fisher wears cape from Thabo Makhetha, T-shirt from Mevrou & Co., shorts and sneakers, model’s own.
The same blues adorn the wall as in above, geometrically combined with black and offset by gold. Sarah Corry, riding “Betty Blue” the golden scooter from Tritalia, wears jacket from Imprint by Mzukisi Mbane, jumpsuit from Topshop, zandals from Maria McCloy.
FEATURED IMAGE: Creator of Escape from Samsara, Catherine Raphaely – atop a life-size replica of the kaleidoscopic board game painted by Paintiques – is dressed in Xhosa-inspired knitwear by Laduma Ngxokolo. Photograph by Mary-Anne Grobler.
PHOTOGRAPHS: KATINKA BESTER
PRODUCTION AND STYLING: CATHERINE RAPHAELY
STYLING, HAIR AND MAKE-UP: WANIDA KEEPING
WALL PAINT TECHNIQUES: FREYA LINCOLN, CALVIN HOBBS PEARCE,TIMOTHY GOODMAN, MIKE CHISIN, JULIA & ILARIA LOUW OF PAINTIQUES
WORDS: ASHRAF BOOLEY