Unearth the Wilderness within.
Located between two words, one wild and one tamed, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden borders the manicured suburbs of Stellenbosch and a rugged mountain wilderness where leopard still roam. In this garden of private myth, the artist explores the Jungian notion of 'the wilderness within' through sculpture and landscape design. More than sixty sculptures constituting a comprehensive record of Dylan's artistic development thus far have been carefully sited along three kilometres of paths.
The garden project began serendipitously in 2009 when Dylan hired an excavator on a whim and began shaping the contours of what would become the seven-hectare sculpture garden. During initial earthworks, the artist shaped a disused tract of flat farmland into dynamic hills, valleys and water features. In fact, the garden could be considered his largest sculpture to date.
Amid tranquil groves and lush indigenous vegetation, sculptures have been placed in harmony with the landscape. The garden focuses on indigenous species, particularly fynbos, and although planted to give year-round colour, it peaks in July and August into September, when its many buchus and ericas are in fragrant flower. A large selection of ericas, particularly unusual varieties such as Erica verticillata, extinct in the wild, was sourced from Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
Widely recognised as one of the world's foremost sculptors of the animal form, Dylan initially focused on the big cats as symbols of wilderness, then moved into the human figure to explore the forgotten inner wild spaces of the human psyche and the impact of this amnesia on the planet's remaining wilderness areas.