To breathe fresh, clean air; to be surrounded by indigenous flora and fauna; and to appreciate the sophistication of local art and design are luxuries that many of us strive for. Imagine having all of this right on your doorstep, to enjoy whenever your heart desires.
Steyn City, a curated lifestyle resort in Johannesburg’s new north, has acres of open, lush, green space. Nestling within this urban ecosystem are bold, cleverly-located land art and sculptures that encourage friends and family to step outside and interact with them. All the land art pieces in the Steyn City parkland are part of a programme designed to uplift local artists from the community of Diepsloot. This programme, originally overseen by renowned sculptor Charles Gotthard, includes artists such as Martin Umali, Melvern Makhonya and Martin Garafa. The creative project is currently being overseen by Frans Jacobs who plans to include many more local artists moving forward.
We can’t imagine a better way to spend a Sunday than packing a picnic basket and getting an intellectual and physical boost from exploring Steyn City’s artistic offerings. You can almost feel the ground beneath your feet tremble as you tentatively step onto Giant Awakening, a massive land-art piece depicting a lazy-looking giant grasping at the trees and soil as he hoists himself out of his bed of earth.
Our favourite has to be Ubuntu, a quietly spiritual piece situated next to a peaceful creek. 11 elders, plus a leader making up 12 in total, are meant to represent each of South Africa’s 11 official languages. The figures are depicted as calmly contemplative in their stone circle, and there is something strongly reminiscent of the ancient stone henges dotted throughout Europe in their stoic bearing, as if they are puzzling out the mysteries of our land.
With 60 of these unique pieces dotted throughout the Steyn City parkland, you’re guaranteed to discover new creativity every time you pop out for your morning run or walk.
• From the November edition of Wanted, 2020.