The Artist's Way

‘You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.’ Maya Angelou

At Le Jardin, we believe we are all creative beings at our core. In a society that is obsessed with efficiency and productivity, how do we slow down and bring the focus back to creativity? We get playful and we become passionate. Play is a perfect way to prime our minds for creative thinking and the curiosity that play invokes inspires us to bring out our natural passions that have been buried deep inside. Just because we get older doesn’t mean we have to lose the spirit of fun and the ingrained creative ways that we’ve known since childhood. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Every inch of Le Jardin is dedicated to fuelling or igniting your sense of fun.

Dylan Lewis Garden

For art lovers, gardeners and those with an appreciation for nature, a visit to South African artist and sculptor Dylan Lewis’s garden is a must do! With an international career spanning more than two decades, Dylan Lewis’ works are beloved, acclaimed and highly collectable because of the magnificence with which his sculptures capture the form of wild animals, towering mythological figures and fragmented beings. Dylan’s interest in the Jungian notion of ‘the wilderness within’ is explored and expressed most eloquently at his seven-hectare private garden in Paradyskloof, just outside Stellenbosch. Here more than 60 sculptures that chart the trajectory of his career are placed along 4,5km of pathway that lead visitors on a journey from the gloriously cultivated to the unashamedly wild. His art grapples with a deep biological and psychological connection to the wild and strives to drive home the point that the concepts of wildness and wilderness are not vague social constructs ‘out there’ somewhere, but a raw and untamed connectivity that resides in each of us. ‘Our disconnection from our inner wildness as a species, has rendered us psychologically lonely and fragmented,’ says Dylan. ‘As a direct consequence, our wilderness areas and wildlife have suffered too.’

The garden took shape organically over a ten-year period with Dylan transforming what was originally a flat piece of disused farm land into a place of abundant shapes and contours. ‘It was extraordinary to realise that the earth could be shaped, much like the surface of a sculpture,’ he recalls. But then shaping natural spaces has long been a passion for Dylan. As a child, he would spend hours making paths and clearings in a wild area behind his grandmother’s house, and in later years when he studied taxidermy and museum display at Cape Town’s Rondevlei Nature Reserve, his most fulfilling task was the creation of new path systems.

Other art destinations in the area:

Boschendal x Brundyn Art

This is a wonderful addition to Boschendal’s offering as it spotlights multidisciplinary artists from Southern Arica, its diaspora and international practitioners.

SMAC Gallery

Located on the first floor of the historic de Wet Building in Stellenbosch, SMAC Gallery has garnered a reputation for presenting large, museum-quality modern and contemporary exhibitions, accompanied by well-researched catalogues, monographs, and books. Definitely worth a visit.

The Spier Art Collection,

One of the largest contemporary collections of South African art in the country with over 1000 artworks on display in Spier’s historic Cape Dutch buildings and grounds of the Spier Wine Estate. Give yourself the best part of a day to explore this incredible estate, there are great restaurants on site too so plenty of opportunities to pause and refuel.