Cape Town is arguably the creative hub of South Africa. Everywhere you explore in the city, you will discover hot spots of outrageous creativity, whether it be in art, fashion, architecture, or food and entertainment.

Not surprisingly, Cape Town has become the first city in Africa to be named a UNESCO City of Design, joining a total of 180 cities in UNESCO’s global Creative Cities Network, according to The Craft and Design Institute of South Africa.

Living in the winelands region, there is always something amazing to do and explore on weekends. One of my personal favourites has become visiting the large variety of sculptural artworks exhibited in outdoor settings.

Take a look at a few of my favourite sculpture walks.

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden

 

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Eight years in the making, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden is an absolutely-must-visit for anyone crossing the borders of Stellenbosch! Against the backdrop of the towering Stellenbosch Mountain, and within the lush indigenous garden, Dylan Lewis’ larger-than-life sculptures are hauntingly beautiful, as well as thought-provoking.

Here, both the notion of the untamed wilderness within the human psyche is expressed in the 60 sculptures that are dotted along nearly four kilometres of pathways.

The sculptural works, that include a comprehensive record of Lewis’ full artistic development thus far, have been carefully placed in harmony with the landscape: the human form, monumental abstract fragments, his iconic great cats, as well as his more recent pieces focused on Rodin-inspired nudes.

Some of the statues are larger than life, but take some extra time so that you don’t miss the smaller, delicate figures hiding in the shaded areas. Set aside at least four hours to enjoy this magnificent oasis of pure inspiration.

Out & About in Stellenbosch

Meander through the oak-lined streets of Stellenbosch and you will be pleasantly surprised at a vast number of contemporary art pieces on display dotted all over town. These pieces can be found in the most unexpected places, specially showcased there for the public to enjoy!

Some seriously cool and generous individuals, foundations and corporations have formed a non-profit organisation called Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust, in order to make these exhibitions possible. Their objective is to create public awareness of the interplay between art, architecture and public spaces, to make art accessible to everybody, and bring established artists and new talent to the people.

The art on exhibit often has a quirky element to it, which always brings a smile to my face as I go for my lunch-time walkabout town. It sure does add a magical touch to an already exquisite town (we are so spoilt!).

Delaire Graff Estate

 

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One of my best-loved spots for art appreciation is Delaire Graff, situated just outside Stellenbosch. Frequently identified as one of the world’s foremost art collectors, Laurence Graff’s private collection, housed at Delaire Graff Estate, is a carefully curated showcase of some of South Africa’s finest contemporary artists, such as Anton Smit, Sydney Kumalo, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Dylan Lewis, Lionel Smit, Cecil Skotnes and William Kentridge.

The art collection extends within the gardens, with dramatic sculptures nestled amidst indigenous flowering plants, such as the enormous king protea and shrubs from South Africa’s native fynbos. The garden, designed by Keith Kirsten, is lovingly maintained to enhance biodiversity with over 350 indigenous plants and other imported, non-invasive species nestling amongst the sculptures. A sensational setting, the gardens provide the perfect backdrop to these jaw-drop-worthy artworks!

La Motte

Upon entering La Motte, you are greeted with an impressive four metre sculpture of a woman holding a cup, created by Toby Megaw. The Wine Bearer was commissioned by the late Dr Anton Rupert’s daughter, mezzo soprano Hanneli-Rupert-Koegelenberg, to celebrate La Motte’s tradition of sharing.

In appreciation of the role that women play in society, a guided walk takes you to nine female sculptures on the estate. The tour, which includes the Wine Bearer, takes you past sculptures displayed in the La Motte Museum, Wine Tasting Room, Rupert Vinoteque, Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant and the most recent addition, The Kiss in the courtyard. The walk is concluded with a tasting of the estate’s limited release La Motte Methôde Cap Classique and an elegant traditional French Madeleine under the age-old oak trees in La Motte’s garden. Well worth a morning visit!

Grande Provence

 

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Like many wine farms in Franschhoek, Grande Provence is steeped in history, with the estate founded over 300 years ago by fleeing French Huguenots. While the Manor House still stands as an outstanding example of Cape Dutch architecture, the feel is one of distinct modernity. This is, in large part, owed to the presence of some rather impressive bodies of sculpture that occupy the leafy gardens.

There is an extensive and ever-evolving selection of artwork in the gardens, including Anton Smit’s overwhelming heads, Toby Megaw’s clay-modelled, bronze casts of small children as well as works by his dad, Theo Megaw. Dylan Lewis’ towering cheetahs grace the Estate’s landscape, as well as Sam Allerton’s fantastical conceptual sculptures of human/animal figures, referencing Allerton’s constant homage to nature and wildlife.

The sculpture garden is just one of the places to appreciate Grande Provence’s collection, as The Gallery inside is home to more exquisite pieces which includes paintings, drawings, original prints, sculpture, ceramics, photography and traditional beadwork from South Africa’s finest artists.

Leeu Estate

 

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Take a guided tour of the gardens interspersed with strategically placed artworks at Leeu Estates, a luxury hotel set amongst landscaped gardens, manicured vineyards and indigenous fynbos in the Franschhoek valley.

Analjit Singh, the Leeu Collection’s founder, personally curated the collection at Leeu Estates, which features predominantly life-sized bronze sculptures by Angus Taylor, Deborah Bell, Dylan Lewis and Otto du Plessis, among other well-known mainly South African artists. Relax afterwards over a traditional afternoon tea, or tea with scones and homemade jam. A feast for all the senses, you are sure to leave there fabulously relaxed and totally inspired!

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