Silver Tree Restaurant and the Untamed Sculpture Exhibit currently at Kirstenbosch Gardens
After recently Rocking the Daisies, I had the privilege of attending a special kind of after-party. One that you won’t read about anywhere else. Mainly due to the fact that I know very few people who could manage it in the first place and then there was the limited guest list. I know I have said it before, but I will say it again. My number one priority, above all else, is to my family (sometimes friends are family too). Always. So after Rocking the Daisies, and being the last day of school holiday’s, Sunday’s activities absolutely had to be family affair.
It had to be a special time for us. For the occasion, we clambered together with two of our most wonderful friends (who also just survived the rocking weekend with us) and their 18 month old daughter. 2 x Kids in tow, 1 x Kirstenbosch Gardens, 4 x friendly wine loving folk, 1 x Silver Tree restaurant, 1 x Monique (best waitress at the Silver Tree) and of course sunshine, we settled down for lunch.
What an exhuberating experience. The Silver Tree Restaurant offers surprisingly excellent value for money. I have been to a few luxuriant dinners here and always had the impression that they were rather ridiculously priced. At R 35 for kids meals, which look more like adult servings and taste as delicious; and adults meals ranging from only R 55 per head, I couldn’t have been more wrong. We ordered a scrumptious bolognaise for the kids and the best burgers/ steak I have had in a while for ourselves. If ordering either at Silver Tree sometime, I do recommend the blue cheese sauce. You can’t get better value for money in a setting as beautiful as Kirstenbosch Gardens. I think it may even be cheaper than a picnic option. For dessert my daughter had a serving of Chocolate Volcano, while my friends daughter had ice cream which she promptly decided needs to go everywhere but in her mouth. Not having much of a sweet tooth we opted for the cheese platters for dessert. It was so good, it would make even Fairview a little jealous.
Well fed and thoroughly satisfied we headed up the gardens. It was at this point my day got interesting. Currently there is the most profound exhibition of Dylan Lewis’s sculptures and Ian McCullum’s poetry, which explores the notion of co existing internal and external wilderness spaces in our lives. Both the figurative and the literal.
Dylan believes that this wilderness is fundamentally important to the human psyche. He feels there is a great disconnection in our lives from nature, and I agree. Through these sculptures, Dylan sought to display the fact that while we cannot go back to living as our ancestors did, our current lifestyles are also unsustainable and enjoying the benefits of communal life has often required the taming of that part that is wild, instinctual and free. Expressing rage without destruction. Grief without despair. Freedom without the enslavement of others. Lust without betrayal. Wild joy without madness.
The combination of the Dylan’s sculptures, Ian’s poetry and the gallery itself which was built by Enrico Daffonchio, a master of sustainable design and architecture, sends a powerful message. The sculptures, with skulls, wings and claws, melting into their humanoid anatomy, symbolises the wild aspects of our psyche. Dylan describes them best,’ They have a powerful physicality akin to raw animal power, but they are not heroic. They are strong and free, but deeply fearful of that strength and freedom.
I was inspired by this collection, Dylan achieves the results he was aiming for perfectly. The work is raw, a little scary, intimidating even, yet there is something tranquil about it. There is a perfect balance between humbleness and pure might, in the work that cannot be described. It’s very ‘real’ for lack of better wording. If you haven’t seen this gallery yet, I recommend doing so before it disappears. It’s not a permanent exhibit and will move on pretty soon to Gauteng. The building included.
With much on my mind, we spent the rest of the afternoon on a picnic blanket in the shade, reading, chatting and cloud gazing while the children explored the trees, and gardens finding all manner of fairies about. With the children’s laughter floating on air I slipped into a dream of contemplation, resting, content, peaceful and happy, counting all of my many blessings.
Tags: Cape Town, Dylan Lewis, exhibition, Ian McCullum, Kirstenbosch Gardens, poetry, sculpture, South Africa, Western Cape