3 unmissable sculpture gardens in Cape Town

The wild scent of fynbos, abundant flora and a mindful meander amid monumental bodies of art. It’s a wonderful way to spend a weekend this summer.

Impressive sculptural works by both local and international artists are finding a home at wine farms and sculpture gardens in and around Cape Town. The rich biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom offers a spectacular backdrop for these exhibitions, integrating man-made and natural beauty.

Combine your day trip with some fine lunch and wine tasting options nearby and your weekend plans are set.

Tokara, Stellenbosch

Located about 45 minutes from Cape Town, the wine estate Tokara in Stellenbosch is the embodiment of GT Ferreira’s philosophy that good wine, good food and good art go together to culminate in a good lifestyle. The connection with fine art has been extended to the winery entrance which houses a gallery of curated art and a sculpture garden located at Tokara Delicatessen. The tranquil paths lead around extensive sculptures admired as visitors stroll through.

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Norval Foundation, Steenberg

The vast Sculpture Garden at Norval Foundation bursts into bloom at this time of year, featuring three-dimensional installations by artists from South Africa, from the rest of Africa and from all over the world. This unique and still somewhat undiscovered Sculpture Garden, bisected by a protected Cape lowland freshwater wetland and surrounded by the natural beauty of the Western Cape, boasts indigenous flora alongside the art foundation itself. The exhibition programme in the Sculpture Garden includes exhibits by artists working with figure, narrative and mythology, abstraction, post-minimalism and craft. Artworks are a mixture of long-term loans and work from the Norval Foundation Homestead Art Collection, which are installed permanently. The spectacular gardens and the impressive array of sculptural work, followed by lunch with a view at The Skotnes Restaurant, make the quick 30-minute drive out of Cape Town a rewarding and memorable outing.

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Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden, Stellenbosch

Another little-known outdoor art destination about 40 minutes drive from Cape Town is this sculpted indigenous garden in Stellenbosch, showcasing 60 of Dylan Lewis’ works. In this garden of private myth, the artist explores the Jungian notion of ‘the wilderness within’. Widely recognised as one of the world’s foremost sculptors of the animal form, Lewis initially focused on the big cats; in recent years, he has used the human figure to explore our relationship with our inner wilderness. Although the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden doesn’t offer lunch, there are some incredible gourmet options nearby. Try Rust en Vrede Restaurant or the restaurants by Bertus Basson in Stellenbosch central: Spek & Bone and the new Eike Restaurant.

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