Growing For Good

OUTDOOR MOSAIC INSTALLATIONS

The mosaic artworks at Spier were created by students and graduates of the three-year Spier Artisan Apprenticeship Programme, which ran from 2008 to 2020.

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CREATIVE COLLABORATIONS

Offering three years of employment-based training in professional Mosaic and Ceramic as an art medium, the programme provided emerging artisans (the majority of which are from previously disadvantaged backgrounds) with quality training – empowering them with the necessary artistic and business skills to run their own businesses successfully after graduation.

Although the programme has concluded, the Spier Arts Trust continues to build on its legacy by finding opportunities for its 68 graduates to specialise in collaborative and experimental work with fine artists, designers and architects in the conceptualising, manufacture and installation of large-scale contemporary artworks in these exciting mediums. The alumni are still actively engaged in producing mosaic, either through opportunities that arise through Spier Arts Trust or their own marketing efforts.


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The Dying Slave

Between the Spier Hotel and the Werf, you’ll encounter the nine soaring columns that together make up The Dying Slave. The design for this mosaic was done digitally by Marco Cianfanelli, using a photographic source, based on Michelangelo’s image of a male slave in the ecstatic throes of dying. Mosaic panels were placed on both sides of the columns, with one side of the column featuring a “positive” image and the other a ‘negative’ (inversion) of the same image. This 42.6 square metre mosaic artwork consists of almost 225,000 pieces of tesserae (mosaic pieces). Ten mosaic artists worked for five months to complete it.

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Uthomi

In 2019, a mosaic sculptural fountain designed by Mozambican artist Lizette Chirrime was installed near Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery. Celebrating and showcasing Chirrime’s talent for combining colour and abstract form, it offers a vibrant playground for the imagination. The artwork forms the fountain floor, and its mosaic surface is flush with the surrounding surface, encouraging visitors to engage with the installation and water.

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Spier History Trails

In 2020, the Mosaic Kraal also became home to Spier History Trails. Overlaid on the path spanning the precinct’s length, the work pays tribute to the multitude of unacknowledged people that have lived and worked here over the past millennia. Their names might not have been recorded but the flow of their daily lives, and the animals they tended, have left their indelible tracks throughout the memory of the farm. The design, by an anonymous artist, was painstakingly translated into mosaic using natural stone and Venetian smalti (opaque glass paste).

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The Spier Mosaic Kraal

Situated between the Wine Collection Point and the Tasting Room, the Spier Mosaic Kraal features the works of 16 contemporary South African artists. It is South Africa’s first permanent outdoor exhibition of mosaic. 20 images from the Creative Block project were interpreted as mosaic artworks by the Spier Artisan Apprenticeship Programme’s apprentices. The images were chosen for their extraordinary visual impact, their ability to be successfully interpreted using the medium of mosaic, and the challenging characteristics that would enable the apprentices working on them to gain the skills needed to become expert mosaicists. Together the artworks illustrate the variety and vibrancy of mosaic as a medium – a contemporary African reinvention of this ancient art form.


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Explore all our initiatives

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Spier Food Garden

In our food gardens, Megan McCarthy teaches members of disadvantaged local communities how to grow food using eco-friendly and regenerative techniques.

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Reducing and reusing water

100% of Spier’s black and grey wastewater is recycled using a centralised wastewater treatment plant installed in 2007.

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An ethical supply chain

We ensure integrity throughout our supply chain by monitoring the agreed commitments in our Spier Supplier Ethical Code of Conduct, which includes compliance with all relevant labour, health and safety and environmental legislation.

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Skills development

Spier is a participating employer in the Pinotage Youth Development Academy which seeks to educate and employ disadvantaged youth in the wine industry.

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Agents of change

Because each employee is an ambassador for Spier and its values, every new member of our team participates in a five-day training course that explores environmental and social challenges.

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Tree-preneurs

Living in some of the province’s most impoverished communities, Tree-preneurs are taught how to care for indigenous trees and plants.

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Pack for a purpose

Pack for a Purpose invites visitors to Spier to fill spare space in their luggage with much-needed books, stationery and other educational supplies for disadvantaged young students.

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Teaching the value of waste

100% of our organic waste is transformed into organic, nutrient-rich fertiliser and more than 97% of our solid waste is recycled.

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Living Soils Community Learning Farm

Based at Spier, this learning and demonstration farm produces nutritious food using eco-friendly regenerative farming methods while empowering a new generation of farmers.

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Conserving wildlife through education

Spier supports Eagle Encounters by donating land, electricity and water for its facilities.

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Helping local start-ups thrive

Spier helps entrepreneurs — many of the former employees — to launch and successfully run their own small businesses.

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Harambee youth employment accelerator

Spier recruits entry-level staff through Harambee, an initiative that sources, trains and places unemployed young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into their first jobs.

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The Spier Art Collection

The Spier Art Collection is one of the largest contemporary collections of South African art in the country.

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The Creative Block Project

Curate your own collection by established and emerging artists to create a vibrant collage expressing contemporary South Africa.

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Nurturing nature

Our land is holistically farmed to create a diversified, balanced ecosystem with minimal impact on the environment.

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The Spier Nursery

The Spier Nursery was established to propagate and grow indigenous trees and plants that are specific to the region to re-introduce these onto the farm.