Light Art Festival back to light up skies at Spier

Fluxit by Paul Vendel and Sandra de Wolf lit up the night skies on the Spier werf during last year’s Light Art Festival.

The fourth edition of the annual Spier Light Art will be presented from Friday March 18 to Monday April 18.

“We have used this opportunity during the global pandemic to look within, connect with loved ones and find joy in quiet moments of calm. But we have also sought ways to embrace the promises of the future. It would be rash not to reflect on what has happened to us all, but it must be tempered with forward-looking positivity,” say curators Jay Pather and Vaughn Sadie..

“The artworks showcased at Spier Light Art 2022 do just that; they ask us to glance back while looking ahead, learning from the past as we stride into the future.”

They explain that while some of the works offer playful opportunities for fun others grapple with difficult themes such as social histories and our relationship with the planet.

The 2022 installations include:

Night Crumple by Hedwig Barry: Large sculptures made from crumpled sheets of aluminium will change in appearance between night and day. Treated with automotive paints mixed with phosphorescent powder, the artwork has two lives and dramatises the relationship between force, scale and fragility.

Ms Barry’s artwork explores the relationship between visibility and invisibility. Aspects of the work that are invisible by day will take on new life in the night’s darkness, revealing hidden secrets.

The amount of light absorbed by the phosphorescent paint in the day will affect how the work manifests at night in an ongoing and changing response to its site. The weather and the position of the earth relative to the sun will also influence the appearance of the work.

My secret digital garden by Natalie Penang: Referencing the scene from the iconic Ophelia painting by Sir John Everett Millais, Natalie Penang’s video artwork injects fresh energy into the original artwork. The artist plays with the relationship between nature, technology and magical beings, while interrogating what it means to exist in an online universe.

Thokoza Mama Days? by Sandile Radebe: Exploring the performance of ubuZulua bethu or ‘our Zuluness’ in a material culture is the core theme of this sculptural installation from Sandile Radebe. Equally important as a theme is the role abaphansi (ancestors) play in connecting the material and the spiritual world, and how they facilitate our spiritual purpose.

Petrified by Blaukind and The Renderheads: David Hecker, Alina Smith and Elzeth Calitz are The Renderheads and they are standing on the ground, looking into the clouds. Their interactive installation ‘Petrified’ asks the participant to question the prevailing narrative that science and technology, with their shiny light arcs and glassy interfaces, hold a place at the top of human creation.

Instead, we should look at the holes in the ground from the lithium mining, the exploitation of the workers and the abuse of private data. As the participant walks through the reflective surfaces of ‘Petrified’, they will consider the ecological toll of our insatiable quest for technological development.

Entry is free, and visitors need to reserve a time slot online to ensure compliance with Covid-19 safety protocols. The best time to visit is at dusk, when you can catch the beautiful sunset and witness the lights being turned on.

Picnics can be booked online, and food is available from the Spier Farm Cafe, various pop-ups, the Spier Hotel Restaurant and Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery, or just enjoy a glass of wine from the Braai Bar on the werf.

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