BENGUELA COVE SCULPTURE PARK
Anton Smit’s work is found on many upscale estates in the Cape winelands, but the opening of a dedicated sculpture park at Benguela Cove in late 2019 has provided a permanent home for his work down south. Overlooking the Bot River Lagoon, the waters of Walker Bay not far off, the estate is home to 90 sculptural works, each placed alongside a poem or snatch of verse that has inspired Smit’s creative journey. Aside from the art, from 24 September the estate will reopen for dining, wine tasting, cellar tours and lagoon cruises.
• Free admission
EVERARD READ SCULPTURE GARDEN
The new kid on the block, the Everard Read Sculpture Garden, is just about to open in Franschhoek. They’ve already got a beautiful gallery up the main drag of the winelands town but the new indoor and outdoor gig, which is part of the Leeu Estates property, is an utter delight. The new outdoor offering links to Leeu’s already glorious sculpture park and kilometres of property to ramble through, and features works by the likes of Speelman Mahlangu, Beth Diane Armstrong, and Deborah Bell. It’ll be our 2020 summer art hangout for sure.
• Free admission
While Covid-19 has seen the gates of Nirox locked tight for the last while, it’s worth adding to your hotlist for when this all (finally) blows over. Situated west of Johannesburg in the Cradle of Humankind, this lively garden is yet another rea-son to plan a weekend break in this corner of Gauteng. Angus Taylor’s enormous Morphic Resonance is a centrepiece of the garden, but allow yourself ample time to discover the growing permanent collection of works donated to the garden though its artist-residency programme.
•Admission: R120pp (under-12 free)
With a fine restaurant under the knife of chef Phil de Villiers, a boutique full of covetable design-forward goodies and — oh yes — airy galleries of innovative con-temporary art, it’s easy to skip past the charming sculpture garden at the Norval Foundation in the Cape-Town suburb of Constantia. But you’d be mad to. Set around a natural wetland, the garden features pieces by the likes of Brett Murray, Yinka Shonibare, and Michele Mathison. Indoors, a trio of new exhibitions featuring works by Zanele Muholi, Jackson Hlungwani, and Athi- Patra Ruga awaits.
• R150pp (under-18s free), free on first Thursday of each month
DYLAN LEWIS SCULPTURE GARDEN
Forget about syrah, your next visit to Stellenbosch should be for the sculpture in this garden fashioned from a tract of disused farmland. Aside from its remarkable landscaping, the garden’s 60-odd works offer a fascinating timeline of Lewis’ creative journey: from his very first bronze sculpture — a small bird — through to the monumental works that erupt from the hilltops, framed by the surrounding mountains. In between you can glimpse the creative process in the artist’s former studio, admire the shamanistic sculptures of Untamed, and discover his new “sculptural sketches” centred on the human journey. A small café offers light refreshments.
• R150pp (under-18 free), visits strictly by appointment
ANTON SMIT SCULPTURE PARK
On a high plateau overlooking Bronkhorstspruit Nature Reserve, this sculpture park is the cultural highlight of this sleepy corner of Gauteng. An hour’s drive from Joburg, it’s an ideal day trip from the city. Working mostly in metal and stone, Smit is perhaps most famous for his fractured and fragmented expressions of the human form. In the park, dozens of iconic works are carefully sited amid natural rock formations, succulent gardens, and manicured lawns. The on-site gallery offers a range of Smit’s work for sale, while the Art Café dishes up a compact menu of light meals and drinks.
• Free admission
• From the September issue of Wanted 2020.