It’s safe to say we could all do with a little escape. Slipping into a garden of towering trees and larger-than-life sculptures would do the trick. Meander through our list of sculpture parks across the country to take in some art outdoors
Less than an hour outside of Johannesburg is NIROX Sculpture Park, a name that might be familiar for their annual Winter Sculpture Exhibition. The sculpture park is set amongst cultivated lawns, arbours, fields, waterways and wetlands which provide a breathtaking backdrop for the more than 50 permanent and long-term installations by celebrated local and international artists. So close to the city, NIROX really is a world away. It rejuvenates the spirits of art lovers and forest bathers alike.
Spot owls, monkeys, ostriches, a pangolin, various buck and a 5m tall yellow and pink giraffe.
In Houghton, Johannesburg, The Wilds was once a neglected space that people were afraid to enter. Artist James Delaney decided to do something about it and recruited a dedicated team and volunteers to clear the overgrowth and revive this precious inner-city sanctuary. One of the ways Delaney brought a renewed interest to the park was to install his life-size sculptures of animals among the trees and on the lawns. There are now 100 sculptures in the park which all started as charcoal drawings: spot owls, monkeys, ostriches, a pangolin, various buck and a 5m tall yellow and pink giraffe.
Read more in our story ‘Taming The Wilds’.
Many of the sculptures are made from upcycled materials giving new purpose to junkyard finds.
The AmmaZulu Garden and Sculpture Precinct in Kloof, Durban, is a jungle wonderland where founder and creator Peter Amm grew up. Today it’s home to 125 fantastical sculptures igniting imaginations among the towering palms. Many of the sculptures are made from upcycled materials giving new purpose to junkyard finds. AmmaZulu is also host to a permanent exhibition of sculptures by South African artist Andries Botha.
The garden has been designed in a way to reveal new works as visitors make their way along the paths.
The Sculpture Garden at the Norval Foundation is bisected by a protected Cape lowland freshwater wetland and surrounded by magnificent natural beauty. The garden has been designed in a way to reveal new works as visitors make their way along the paths. Some permanent and others on loan, the sculptures are all made by South African and African artists such as Yinka Shonibare and Brett Murray. On Family Weekends once per month, there are yoga sessions between the installations.
Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
Found in Stellenbosch, this majestic garden is a sculpted landscape which features more than 60 works by artist Dylan Lewis along 4km of paths. Lewis’ rugged, poetic sculptures explore organic human and animal forms inspired by the notion of ‘the wilderness within’. The garden is planted with indigenous species to give year-round colour no matter the season. Both the garden and Lewis’ sculptures remind us of humans’ critical connection to nature.