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Spier Light Art 2021: Call for proposals

Spier is proud to announce the third edition of Spier Light Art, to be exhibited throughout the historic Stellenbosch wine farm from 26 February to 28 March 2021. Designers, architects, 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.

SpierLightArt_Fire Snake - David Brits (LR)

COVID-19 has made both the present and future far more uncertain and unpredictable than before; toppling long-held assumptions and radically altering routines and rhythms. How do artists help us to make sense of what we are experiencing? More specifically, how do light artists envision works that illuminate the present moment and help us to imagine where we might be headed next? How can we play and dream?

Thematic Directions

  1. The whimsical/ethereal: works can reflect a light-hearted engagement with one of multiple sites.
  2. The conceptual: works can reflect and integrate more topical conceptual interests that frame our current socio-political landscape as well as COVID-19 directly.
  3. Works could also reflect on our shifting relationship to technology and its disruptive influence.
  4. There is a specific call for existing video-based artworks produced during lockdown which reflect and integrate more topical conceptual interests that frame our current socio-political landscape.

COVID-19 Restrictions

Audience’s safety is paramount, and interactive works need to follow COVID-19 safety protocols around touch and social distancing. The works will be curated so that audiences will be able to move from one work to another while observing these protocols as well.

Submission requirements and process

Expressions of interest must include a short response to either of the themes (no more than a page), concept sketches and provisional budget indicating whether this is to be funded in part or total by the Spier Arts Trust. Submission of video-based artworks must include a short conceptual outline with web links to the work or examples of previous work. These can be emailed to the Project Manager at before 20 November 2020. A more thorough proposal may be requested after the initial short list is announced.

The Spier Arts Trust will fund or part fund the installations chosen by the Selection Committee headed by curator Jay Pather.

SpierLightArt_Wave Machine - Roelf Daling (LR)

Spier Light Festival 2019/2020

The second edition of the exhibition took place over summer 2019, lighting Spier up with an array of artworks incorporating light and sound. Over 12,000 visitors viewed the 18 artworks, ranging from interactive installations to pieces that invited the visitor to pause and reflect. Previously showcased artworks offer creatives ideas for the kinds of works that the Selection Committee are interested in featuring. Refer to last year’s programme for inspiration: 

“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” reflect the curators, Jay Pather and Vaughn Sadie. “These experiences – of 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.”

The Sunday Times Neighbourhood supplement wrote about the previous Spier Light Art exhibition: “What a spoil to walk around safely in near darkness… the beautiful surroundings merging with the night skies, and, interspersed with the pristine gardens, an array of light art surprises….” Highlighting the child-friendly nature of the experience, the Weekend Argus said, “take the family along for a fun evening” describing various works as “playful”, “astute and profound” and “poignant”.

About Spier

One of South Africa’s oldest wine farms and a well-known Western Cape landmark, Stellenbosch 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.