With grounds scattered with sculpture and art, Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch never loses its appeal. Spending some time on the farm over the weekend, I decided my favourite piece of sculpture was the Dying Slave. This collection of mosaic columns is an outstanding, beautiful piece erected on the wide walkway between the hotel and conference centre.
Designed by architect Marci Cianfanelli and created by the artists of Spier Architectural Arts, this 3D piece is reminiscent of the Nelson Mandela Capture Site I wrote about a while back. Cianfanelli has been involved in both projects and there are many similarities between the Dying Slave at Spier and the Mandela Capture Site. Both require viewing from a certain distance to get the actual perspective of the piece. Both are also playful with its viewers, encouraging those who gaze upon it to walk through the structure.
This piece is based on Michelangelo’s Dying Slave and counters the femininity of the nearby Golden Muses of Spier (sadly I didn’t get a photo of these despite reminding myself to about 17 times). It is also a reminder of the history of slave labour used on the wine farms of the area during the 17th and 19th centuries.
While I spotted a few other pieces while zipping about Spier, this was the sculpture with the most impact and its definitely worth stopping for to have a look at, and of course popping into their tasting room wouldn’t hurt either!