Enchanted Wilderness: Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden © Ruxandra Huh

Wilderness, tranquillity and the South African scenery… This sculpture garden is not only the art gallery of Dylan Lewis; internationally renowned South African sculptor, but also an appropriate expression of the essence of the artist.

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden © Ruxandra Huh
Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden © Ruxandra Huh

An oasis of beauty…

Thinking of a garden as an open air museum to showcase and integrate art pieces, I was expecting to see a competition between the natural and man made environment. But never before have I seen such an integrative approach to an exhibition, where the space and the artistic expression meet to complement each other in a seamless ode to beauty.

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden © Ruxandra Huh
Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden © Ruxandra Huh

Winding paths and breath-taking mountain vistas…

As an architect, I have to acknowledge the merits of the space in stark contrast to a conventional museum. Here, there are no limits to natural light or the countless vantage points from which one views the sculptures. This is set in an environment, where one can see the art pieces baking in a harsh midday light or perched under a gentle sunset. Here, each step you take along the winding path unveils a new perspective of the avant garde sculptural pieces. Take for example one of his wild cats from his great collection; they feel at home in the pristine landscape with an endless terrain that offers them space and freedom to be admired… or just be.

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden © Ruxandra Huh
Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden © Ruxandra Huh

A homage for inspiration and introspection…

Lewis’ main explored themes are the human form, shape shifting, fragmented forms, birds and wild animals; particularly wild cats. The inspiration for his cats lies in the connection with the South African wilderness. His artwork is unmistakable through a personal dynamic interpretation of the movement and the particular style that he has developed. Through the rough strokes Lewis manages to convey dynamism even to the static sculptures and by distancing himself from an accurate representation of the subjects, he unveils the essence of these wild and volatile cats.

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden © Ruxandra Huh
Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden © Ruxandra Huh

For me, the garden is a journey of discovery and appreciation. The only indication that time doesn’t stand still is the changing light moving over the sculptures. Bathed in the soft warm glow of the setting sun, the cheetah and the buck seemed so real, that I expected someone to push the ‘play’ button, to let this frozen moment in time unwind.

The Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden is situated in Stellenbosch, South Africa.