Just – SOAK. THAT. UP.
BATHE IN IT.
And the fragility of the other side…
That, my friends, is the work of Dylan Lewis, a South African sculptor. You cannot imagine the scale and power – it simply can’t be captured on camera. They left me and the friend I saw the exhibition with (and every other woman we encountered, especially) completely stunned. Dazed. Thinking… things. Dark, wild, raw things. You could see it on their faces.
What a gift this was. We went to visit the Kirstenbosch botanical gardens and immediately on entering were confronted with something that punched us in the gut, speaking to us on a very deep level. It was so unexpected – we wandered the rest of the gardens in a dwaal, stopping back to immerse ourselves one more time before leaving.
The man has a genius who clearly adores him.
Accompanying the sculptures are several poems by award-winning psychologist-turned-ecologist Dr Ian McCallum. My friend and I both hied us to the bookstore to purchase his “Untamed” collection (I also got Ecological Intelligence: Rediscovering Ourselves in Nature and it is most excellent reading.) As if the experience wasn’t earth-shaking enough, to read these words alongside the depictions of man-beast/beast-man… my mind felt like THIS (in a good way!)
I was so wrecked by the whole thing, I forgot to take pictures of some of the sculptures D:
Beyond the “formal” installation, there are 3 very large pieces in the garden itself (eg. top image in front of a gigantic Ficus). The idea of the “Untamed” exhibition is to promote understanding of our own inherent wildness (and show that we are mud and blood and skin and teeth, after all) – seeing these dynamic, barely restrained gods in the midst of such precise horticultural politeness really hits the point home. Yes, the grass is neatly clipped and the Agapanthus grow in their designated areas, but turn your back for a month… a year… I can only imagine this was intentional.