Dylan Lewis: Sculptures in Stellenbosch

OCTOBER 2008 - JUNE 2009

With its majestic old oak trees, thriving wine industry and the longest row of conserved historic buildings in the country, Stellenbosch is undoubtedly among the finest cultural jewels of the Cape, if not South Africa. Dating back to 1679 and the second oldest town in the country, it boasts many fine examples of Cape Dutch, neoGothic, Georgian, Art Deco and Victorian architecture. Interestingly, where these gracious buildings now stand was once “renosterbos”, an untamed landscape inhabited by an abundance of wild animals including lion, buffalo, cheetah and leopard. It is to pay homage to these now extinct creatures and to remind us of the pristine wilderness that once was their home that Lewis returns a selection of them to Stellenbosch, juxtaposing their great forms and spirits (now captured in bronze) with the architectural urban markers of civilization.

The sculpture tour:
The suggested walking route on this map takes in 19 of Lewis´s magnificent animal sculptures, and provides a perfect opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and architecture of the historic town at the same time. You will notice that on every sculpture is a plaque bearing a cell phone number, something of a technological first for art tours in South Africa. By phoning the number, you will hear information about the sculpture in front of you, as well as general information about the artist, and the profits from this cellphone platform are to be donated to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Parking can be difficult in Stellenbosch, so it is advisable to walk the route. It should take approximately two hours, but longer if you wish to stop for lunch or tea at one of Stellenbosch´s many restaurants and coffee shops along the way. Well worth a stop en route is The Rupert Museum, where more recent and surprisingly different work of the sculptor can be viewed. Note that the sculptures in the outlying areas of Ida´s Valley, Jamestown, Kayamandi and Tennantville are too far to comfortably reach on foot, and transport is advised.

Download the Sculpture Tour Map