Many of our cultural projects are managed by the Spier Arts Trust, which was established to generate shared value for the makers and buyers of South African art. Through curating art portfolios and managing visual arts projects, the trust facilitates collaboration as well as growth opportunities for visual artists and artisans in South Africa.
Sculptures and artworks from the Spier Art Collection – a significant contemporary art collection mainly comprising works from the post-Apartheid era – can be encountered throughout our farm. Works are rotated continuously to give exposure to as many artists as possible and allow visitors and staff to enjoy the full extent of the collection.
Spier was awarded the Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Chairman’s Premier Award in 2014, recognising its sustained and extraordinary commitment to arts in South Africa. This award is made at the discretion of the BASA Chairman and only during years when nominees are deemed exceptional.
The Spier Art Collection
The Spier Art Collection is an extensive collection of more than 3200 contemporary Southern African artworks. At any given time, roughly 1000 artworks are displayed in Spier’s meticulously restored Cape Dutch buildings, throughout the Spier Hotel, and even outdoors.
To share the art collection with a broad audience, we run an exhibition programme that partners with young South African guest curators. Curators are cultural practitioners who frame their own ideas and narratives, using the rich stories that emerge from placing artworks together in specific places. These curated exhibitions using artworks from the collection take place annually on the farm, but are sometimes invited to travel to other parts of the country.
The works curated for Spier's restored Manor House were selected to celebrate the significance of the past and place. This diverse selection of work explores the connection between the Manor House and those who have walked between these walls over the centuries.
All the artworks were created by South African-based artists, who skillfully explore themes such as culture, heritage, identity, race, religion, gender, power, and collective memory, all of which have influenced our understanding of place and history. The artists have employed various mediums - from oil paints to watercolours, paper to mixed media - showcasing their individual techniques and attention to detail. This brings out the unique beauty and complexity of this historically significant site. The exhibition encourages visitors to reflect on the importance of preserving historic sites for future generations, using art as a lens to appreciate and cherish these places.
Wim Botha’s “Mieliepap Pietà”, a life-size replica modelled from maize meal, is on show in the Manor House.
The Old Wine Cellar is a showcase for rotating exhibitions from Spier's collection.
In addition to acquiring works from artists’ studios, galleries and auctions, the Spier Art Collection includes large-scale commissioned pieces from selected artists, including Paul Emmanuel’s Transitions, which was exhibited at Spier before being exhibited internationally.