Artists and designers of all kinds (including professionals, students and institutions) are invited to submit expressions of interest for projects and video-based artworks that engage all age groups.
The call for submissions is open to performance and visual artists working with light, sound and video, as well as sculptors, installation artists, painters, photographers, choreographers, theatre designers, industrial designers, urban planners and architects.
The success of previous editions of Spier Light Art highlights the annual event’s significance in the cultural landscape of the Western Cape, and shows the potential of this unique art form to encourage viewers to reflect on contemporary South Africa. The curatorial team would like to invite expressions of interest for 2023, which may respond to the following themes:
The ethereal and the whimsical: use the magic and compelling wonder of illumination to engage in various ways with one of the sites across the farm with a possible focus on interaction and audience experience.
The conceptual: reflect on and integrate with interests that frame our current political landscape, such as land, appropriation and decoloniality.
Technology: reflect on our shifting relationship to technology and its disruptive influence, or on climate change and the idea of sentience.
Resilience, enchantment and exuberance: celebrate human endeavour, our tenacity, and the ability to find joy in challenging times.
Working wine farm: critically reflect on Spier’s history, its relationship to the region and its farming practices.
Categories of work may include:
- Site-specific work (designed for specific places on Spier Wine Farm)
- Sculptural, object-based work
- Interactive art
- Digital works that foreground technology
- Video art
The curatorial team will hold an online briefing on Thursday, 21 July 2022, at 17:30. Please RSVP to email@example.com before 18 July 2022.
Submission requirements and process
Expressions of interest must include:
- Artist/collective/studio biographies of all involved (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 but realistic and well-considered 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 firstname.lastname@example.org before 22 August 2022. 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 co-curator Jay Pather.
Spier Light Art 2022
The fourth edition of the exhibition took place in March and April 2022, and showcased an array of light, sound and video artworks throughout the farm. Over 11 000 people viewed the 22 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:
The 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. Chris Thurman wrote in the Business Day:
…along with its exquisite location and the egalitarian glamour of a free event that nonetheless feels like a high society affair – part of its appeal is that it engages with deep-seated human needs and desires. On a primal level, this has something to do with turning fearful darkness into fascinating light: an evolution of the mastery of fire into the multicoloured playground of a magical night time landscape. But it's also just good (and family-friendly) fun. Children and adults alike are drawn to each new installation with the curiosity of "What's next?": What does this one do? How does it work? What does it say? And why? These are some of the fundamental questions that sustain any meaningful engagement with a work of art. In addition to this, however, my visit to Spier Light Art 2022 (curated by Jay Pather and Vaughn Sadie) felt very much like a ritual experience. It started with a kind of problem statement that also contained the seeds of redemption.
With one of the largest contemporary South African art collections in the country exhibited at Spier, supporting art is as much a part of the Spier ethos as producing award-winning food and wine. Spier believes that the visual arts are a powerful tool for transformation that spark fresh insights and inspire us to engage with the world in imaginative ways. Spier supports local artists through projects that honour our African heritage and enrich our future.