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Open Call: Spier Light Art Festival 2022

Spier is proud to announce the fourth edition of Spier Light Art, which will be exhibited throughout the historic wine farm, one of the oldest in Stellenbosch, from 17 March to 18 April 2022. Designers, architects, and light, sound and video artists – as well as students and institutions – are invited to submit expressions of interest for projects and video-based artworks that are engaging to all age groups.

The success of previous editions of Spier Light Art has highlighted its significance in the cultural landscape of the Western Cape and the potential for this unique art form to reflect on contemporary South Africa. The last 18 months of the global pandemic have laid bare the daily challenges many people and communities are forced to endure, even as we all try to adapt to a world that is constantly in flux. In these moments of adversity, it is important to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit.

Spier Light Art 2022 will celebrate people’s unflinching resilience. We also invite you to reflect on enchantment and exuberance as a way to contribute to this year’s curatorial agenda.  

Themes may include:

  • Enchantment and exuberance
  • Resilience (not only relating to COVID-19)
  • The current socio-political landscape
  • Our relationship to technology and its disruptive influence
  • Spier as a working wine farm, its history and its relationship to the region

Categories of work may include:

  • Site-specific work (designed for specific places on Spier wine farm)
  • Sculptural, object-based work
  • Interactive art (following COVID-19 protocols)
  • Digital works that foreground technology
  • Video art 

COVID-19 Restrictions

The future is hard to predict with COVID-19, but it is essential that we ensure audiences’ safety. Interactive works need to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols on touching shared spaces and surfaces, as well as social distancing. All work will be installed in outside spaces and must be fully weatherproof.

Onsite Briefing

The curatorial team will hold an onsite briefing on Saturday, 11 September 2021 at 10am starting at the Manor House. Please RSVP to lightart@spier.co.za before 08 September 2021.

Submission requirements and process

Expressions of interest must include:

  • Artist/collective/studio biographies of all involved project (200 words)
  • A short response to at least one of the themes (300 words)
  • A concise description of the work including concept sketches (300 words):
  • A description of the audience interaction/engagement with the work if not a video (300 words):
  • A provisional budget, indicating whether it is to be funded completely or in part by the Spier Arts Trust; and
  • Web links to and/or images of the proposed work or, if not already developed, examples of previous work.

Email your expression of interest to the Project Manager at lightart@spier.co.za before 15 October  2021. A more thorough proposal may be requested after the shortlist is announced. The Spier Arts Trust will completely or partially fund installations chosen by the Selection Committee, headed by curator Jay Pather.

Spier Light Art 2021

The third edition of the exhibition took place in March and April 2021, lighting Spier up with an array of artworks. Over 20 000 people viewed the 29 artworks, ranging from interactive installations to pieces that invited the visitor to pause and reflect. Previously showcased artworks will offer ideas for the kinds of works the Selection Committee is interested in featuring. Refer to last year’s programme for inspiration: https://www.spier.co.za/lightart

“Light art installations are mercurial by nature. Transcending the confines of their materiality, light art works are also defined by what they illuminate or hide,” say curators Jay Pather and Vaughn Sadie. “These experiences – walking and pausing, catching a glimpse or settling down to absorb – invited introspection, adventure and playfulness. Scattered across the Spier estate, each work offered an opportunity to experience the complex, multi-hued, multi-faceted texture of our environment and ourselves.”

Community and national media praised the Spier Light Art exhibition for its safe and beautiful environment, child-friendliness and for providing a profound and poignant opportunity to play, interact and reflect.

About Spier

One of South Africa’s oldest wine farms and a well-known Western Cape landmark, Stellenbosch wine farm. Spier hosts the Light Art exhibition as one of their Growing for Good initiatives, which empower communities to create positive social and environmental change.

A long-standing supporter of the arts, Spier understands that creative works entertain, inform and educate. They often hold up a mirror to society, offering us a chance to reflect. This is why Spier contributes to several annual public arts initiatives and exhibit a significant contemporary arts collection on the farm.    

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