Brighten your senses under the stars at Spier Light Art 2024


IT’S that time of year when the night skies at Spier wine farm are set alight. Spier Light Art has returned for its sixth edition and visitors can illuminate their evenings with 21 different light and video artworks installed across the farm, now until April 1. Arrive just before the sun goes down to enjoy an outdoor feast of food and wine under the summer sky. As the stars come out, the lights turn on.

Art is a big deal at Spier. For a start, it exhibits one of the largest contemporary art collections in the country. But it also invests a lot of time and energy into making art accessible to as many people as possible. That’s why this annual light art experience is always free to enter – the aim is to celebrate artists and their creations, and to offer every visitor a unique interaction with inspiring artworks.

There’s a popular opinion that art holds up a mirror to society. It reflects what is happening in the world. This is certainly true of the work featured at Spier Light Art 2024. The artists each grapple with big themes and challenges in our modern world, such as environmental disasters and climate change, how technology dominates our lives, the effects of racism and colonialism, gender identities, and how humans make sense of life.

Despite the weight of these ideas, the artists create in a way that invites lightness, interaction and introspection. Sometimes you will laugh, sometimes you will sigh, but you will always think and wonder. Curators Vaughn Sadie and Jay Pather promise visitors to the farm yet another bold, bright and beautiful art experience.

They say: “These works combine wonder, participation and thought. This exhibition of Light Art is a space for celebration, offering moments of escape and fantasy, and moments when we may touch sides with the world outside, lest indeed, we fall completely asleep.”

These lights and colours will awaken your senses. You might happen upon a mesmerising, colourful network of fungi in Stevie Thompson’s Mycelium, or be faced with the blurry lines between relaxation and inattention in Alan Alborough’s sculptural ZZZZ. You might encounter Abri de Swardt’s Flood Light or Naadira Patel and Sarah de Villiers’s Assembling Lines and wonder how we can save our planet from humanity’s excess and short-sightedness. Your opinions and beliefs about gender and race, immigration and labour might be broadened. You may wonder what it means to be alienated by language or contemplate on the invasiveness of big brands’ advertising.

Whichever artwork you encounter, you will be engaged and entertained in South Africa’s one-of-a-kind art experience. Bring an open mind and comfy walking shoes – the art installations are exhibited across the farm – and let Spier Light Art 2024 add a whole lot of light to your life.

A sunset picnic may be pre-booked and eateries are open until 9pm for the duration of the exhibition.

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