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 on display in Spier’s meticulously restored Cape Dutch buildings, throughout the Spier Hotel, and even outdoors.
In order 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 also invited to travel to other parts of the country.
Spier’s Manor House currently showcases Occupants of the Inhabited, an exhibition of works by artists including Athi Patra-Ruga, Billie Zangewa and Igshaan Adams, and excerpts from selected artist interviews. Guest curator Kefiloe Siwisa says: “The works have been selected to challenge the Manor House’s spatial history, exploring and acknowledging the physical and psychological impact of colonial architecture and how it sits in this moment of postcolonial movement, making, and transformations.” The works invite viewers to consider the complexities of heritage preservation, recent appropriations, and repurposing of colonial sites.
The Old Wine Cellar is home to Disrupt, a temporary exhibition featuring 101 art books created by the Riebeek Kasteel-based artist Emma Willemse.
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 Emanuel’s Transitions, which was exhibited at Spier before being exhibited internationally.