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Spier Light Art Exhibition: it’s magical, has a light robot, it’s free
Pre-book your space on Dineplan, and consider staying over
At this year’s enchanting Light Art expo at Spier Wine Farm, you'll use your phone to paint with a robot named Lucy, move to the sound of music and light, and be challenged to think deeply about loved ones and climate change by award-winning local artists.
The 2021 light exhibtion in Stellenbosch will exhibit an array of majestic installations, transforming the farm into a night-time wonderland. It’s on again this year in March, every night for 30 days (from 19 March to 18 April 2021), and attendance is free.
RESERVE YOUR SPACE NOW ON DINEPLAN
We all have a “need for light and lightness”, particularly after the year that’s just passed, say curators Jay Pather and Vaughn Sadie. The exhibition, now in its third year, attracted over 10 000 people in 2018, its first year. For this year’s event to be Covid-safe you need to reserve a time slot using Dineplan, a restaurant booking app. This allows regulation of numbers, which means easier social distancing. No card details are required when booking Dineplan.
PAINT WITH LIGHT AND LUCY THE ROBOT
One of this year’s most engaging and interactive pieces is Egbert Westra’s Lume, in which attendants use their cell-phone flashlight to create images on a phosphorescent screen. How, you might ask? A phosphorescent pigment absorbs light energy (your phone’s flashlight), stores it and releases the energy as light (the images you create). You’ll be doing this alongside Lucy, a light painting robot – it’s definitely one of the most entertaining and Instagrammable installations.
Another is The Singing Tree, by The Willow Collective. Kids will love this one. It combines light, music and technology with design and motion. As visitors walk through the low-hanging, soft branches the music and lights begin to change.
BE INSPIRED AND CHALLENGED
Two of the more thought-provoking installations are Umdiydiya, by Wezile Mgibe, and How do you Mourn? by Georgia Munnik.
Umdiydiya reflects on Mgibe’s past experiences in welcoming and unwelcoming spaces, and he celebrates the connection between loved ones. His work has been exhibited at Iziko South Africa National Gallery, Norval Foundation and in the UK and Portugal. Munnik’s colourful sculptures in How Do You Mourn? challenges visitors to reflect on the impact of climate change.
ORDER A PICNIC FOR SUPPER
Visit the Light Art exhibition at dusk and dig into a (pre-ordered) picnic basket while you take in the beautiful sunset and the switching on of the lights.
You could also order a Farmer Angus beef-and-bacon burger on a Vadas bun or potato gnocchi at the Spier Hotel restaurant, which is open for light drinks and snacks until 11pm.
MAKE A WEEKEND OF IT AND STAY OVER
For the duration of the Light Art exhibition, Spier’s 4-star hotel has a good deal: book a night’s stay in a farm-style room (it’s a village-style building reminiscent of the Bo-Kaap) for R1 100 per person per night. There’s loads to keep you busy in the day, from Eagle Encounters and Vineyard Segway Tours to a craft market, elemental garden, artisan studio and spa, and wine tastings, of course.
By Simone Strydom
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