Sculpture Competition

Root44 is calling all serious artists. We have an amazing opportunity for any artist who wants to make their mark and win R100 000! The work of art will be a destination in itself that speaks of Stellenbosch and it’s culture, history, wine and future.

Choose your favourite

1. A Teddy Bear

The venue attracts an audience from all walks of life and age groups.

The sculpture needs to be approachable and needs to be safe to touch and experience.

As the sculpture is within a public space it needs to adhere to safety codes and be within the building structural limits.

The sculpture needs to have a sense of wonder that will attract visitors for repeat visits. It should have an element of fun and speak to the festive nature of the activities.

The sculpture needs to use visual and textural language that can communicate its message to the audience without being an intellectual debate. A person that’s more engaging needs to discover hidden elements.

It needs to be a theme that can bind the whole venue together. Possibly used as part of signage or merchandizing. Make it an element that is part of the value proposition rather than just art for art sake. If done right this can be expanded over time and in itself draw past customers back to see what has changed in the evolving story.

A Teddy Bear is a universal symbol for comfort, joy and companionship. I see this as an appropriate ambassador to invite visitors to take the load off and visit for a while.

To evoke a smile and a touch, to remind older visitors possibly to bring their grandkids along the next time or kids to coerce their parents to go see the bear! this weekend.

A great image to draw tourists as they surely will see plenty of it on social media!

I see the bear being bigger than life! Taking full advantage of the double volume space.

To link the top and bottom floors, the celebrating bear holds onto a bunch of helium balloons

Balloons are sculpted into fine high gloss oversized elements that are suspended from the building structure

Visible from the top floor and the ribbons flowing down to the bear connects these visual elements

Stellenbosch and its key features is symbolized in the party balloons – this provides a great opportunity to stylize elements while generating strong graphic elements that can be expanded throughout the venue to tie the sculpture into a cohesive theme.

Artist – David van der Merwe 

2. Harvest

Visually and artistically celebrating the act of harvesting.

We live off the land and whether it is vine, grain or vegetation it has to be harvested at some stage. The image of a harvester with their weaved basket is one known in all cultures and continents throughout history.

From the harvest we enjoy the products that form part of our daily lives.

Stellenbosch is one of the most well-known and celebrated regions in the country for harvesting. The ROOT44 with the symbol of the harvester, becomes the place where everyone gathers to enjoy the gifts from nature that has been so carefully gathered.

Artist: Strijdom van der Merwe

3. Blaaie uit die Eikestad

Blaaie uit die Eikestad is a sculptural installation which uses storytelling as the means to convey a history, a culture and a future of Stellenbosch.

The brightly coloured acrylic squares represent the pages from a book, pages that have been scattered, caught and suspended in the air. The quotes that can be read on these pages all emanate from a series of 12+ stories coming from my research about Stellenbosch and which I have written especially for this project. Some stories have been illustrated and some stories have been turned into short animated videos.

My aim for Blaaie uit die Eikestad is to encourage inclusivity and participation. Firstly, these stories include texts, memories and interviews from a broad demographic (journalists, general workers, students and Stellenbosch locals), and the interviews will form part of my ongoing research towards this project. Secondly, participation is encouraged through the creation of a public forum where members of the community can add their own memories and aspirations for Stellenbosch.

Growing up in this region I know that it is an area filled with beautiful tales and traditions. When interacting with this artwork I want the viewers to experience a sense of delight and reflect on their own stories of the region. To demonstrate this and for the purpose of this proposal I have fully realised three of the stories. Please follow the link to scan the QR codes and engage with the following stories:

  1. Hikkie Vinkel Vonkelburg – A children’s poem about Stellenbosch, written by BenJan en Katoo. Illustrated by Elzahn Nel. Animated by Danielle Hitchcock.
  2. Die kelder onthou – Illustrated memories from growing up on one of Stellenboschs’ oldest wine farms. Illustrated by Elzahn Nel

Haar ring lê in die voortjie – A “Wilgenhof” and “Huis de Villiers” love story from the 1950’s. Written and illustrated by Elzahn Nel

4. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

The artwork is based on an oxwagon with four different wheels, representing different times in our history and current environment.

The steamboiler with chains showing the industrial revolution that took place in the wine industry.

The canon representative of the battles fought to cultivate this land.

The twelve beams going into the earth ball represents the eleven official languages as well as the Khoisan, for their roll in the Stellenbosch wine industry.

The word WINE will be laser cut into each beam in the twelve languages.

The earth ball showing Stellenbosch as one of the major players in the wine industry, as well as the roots Stellenbosch has in the industry.

The trees growing out of the earth ball with 150+ branches representing the active wine farms in the Stellenbosch region.

On each branch the name of the farm as well as coordinates will be laser cut into the branches.

Artist: Rian Oliver

5. Roots

My sculpture, ‘ROOTS’ will hang from the concrete slab ceiling and not in a steel frame that the sculpture is being shown in. This will be seen from the gorgeous restaurant above to the market below. From the restaurant you will see the top of the grapes and the bottom you will see the whole bunch pf grapes. This can be rearranged in any order and not all rings need to be filled.

Materials used:

The sculpture consists of 8 steel rings, each of 1 meter in diameter, with a variation of figures and objects that depict the Stellenbosch Winelands, the Root 44 Market, the architecture and the grounds.

I have used copper wire, wax and old lead bottle wraps to add colour. The lead was what started my sculpting journey years ago around a table where we celebrated family and friends. This is the heart of what wine brings to the table. The final product with be scanned, resized to fit 1 meter rings, cast in resin and coloured according to the final decision. There is the option of casting the sculpture in bronze, but this would increase the price significantly.

What will the patrons see?

Root 44 is a destination for young and old alike to have a wonderful indoor and outdoor experience. There is an intergenerational link between every ring that makes up the bunch of grapes that links the past, present and future in each element.

This is captured in my sculpture with the student reading a book, to replant themselves later like the acorn growing into trees. To a stylish lady with a hat enjoying the Cape weather. The acorn as the symbol of Stellenbosch, this growth from spiritual and intellectual growth. To the Vine leaf where the Winelands all began years ago with the French influence realising that our soil and weather similar to the French terroir and favourable for this new growth. The old world contribution and that we have adopted a new world flavour and own style.

The past, the present and the future all lie in the earth, soil and wine and the celebration is brings of the love of good food and wine that the Stellenbosch Winelands has to offer.

The tree shows the acorn taking root and growing. The famous view of the surrounding Simonsburg mountains with a bird soaring overhead and finally the family seen at the bottom enjoying the wine from the region in the gardens of Root 44.

by Victoria Newton-King

6. Two Boys

An Untitled sculpture, sometimes known as the ‘balancing boys’

“These two boys are experiencing gravity’s pull in opposite directions. The top figure and balloon are drawn upwards whilst the bottom figure is pulled down.

The bottom figure is doing a handstand while the figure on top is hanging from his foot.

If the hanging boy lets go he will fall upwards, into the sky. Leaving the hand-standing boy to lose balance and fall down.

Picture the sculpture upside down for another point of view.’

I made the first version of this work as a high school art project in 2012. It is of myself and my school friend Msimisi. The interplay of inverse gravity and childhood friendship speaks into the importance of our connection within diversity. It is our mutual trust that allows us to be free and at the same time safe.

This sculpture connects the ground and first floor of Root 44, through its standalone figures being viewed from both levels as individually great art. Then combines into one full height, brilliant, sculpture when seen in its totality.

Stellenbosch is a diverse hub, mountains and  valleys, world renowned education institutions and wine farms, peoples from ancient and new societies alike are all here. This sculpture brings into direct light the joy and life of diversity that is held, with grace, in one place. The history of Stellenbosch includes millenia of people moving through the great mountains and valleys while migrating between ocean and inland living grounds. In these times there were places of water which would always be revisited on long journeys. More recently as people began to settle in one place villages and trading stores were set up, the earliest ‘padstals’. Today the movement of people is greatly connected to the South African padstal, it is part of our journey and also part of our heritage. This sculpture holds within it the common thread of this history, which is togetherness. Together with the land people have lived, people have traveled, people have farmed and as people we continue together. This artwork at Root 44 will be iconic in its symbolism of the impossibility of being human, of being alive, without being together. However diverse or far apart we may seem, we truly are one.


As link to our vineyards. The top boy holds a helium balloon, pulling in the direction that is up for him. As this balloon lifts into the air so the grape, for generations of peoples, has lifted the people, in Spirit and in work.

This artwork has followed a natural progression. After making the first model at 30cm tall in art class, the school that I was at in Mpumalanga requested for it to be made life size. So it was made as a feature for the fountain in the courtyard in front of the school chapel, this was 3m tall. Now with a two story tall version at Root 44 this artwork will really be realising it’s full potential to share its light and joy, its connection with all the people of South Africa.

Artist = Robbie Rorich



R100 000!

Root 44 is giving one artist the opportunity to create a sculpture that will link Root 44’s ground floor and first floor.

The idea is that the sculpture is the landmark around which the building was designed and built. The work of art will be a destination in itself that speaks of Stellenbosch and it’s culture, history, wine and future.


Competition Rules


  1. Please fill in and submit the application page as detailed as possible.
  2. Arrange a Root44 site visit- Site visits available weekdays only between 10am and 11am. Please contact Tarryn on 021 300 3935 or email to schedule a site viewing.
  3. Do a small model as part of the proposal. Not larger than 80cm/1m in height.
  4. Competition start date Friday 25 February & End date Friday 30 April (for application and site visit).31 May is the last day for submission of small model and budget.
  5. Completed application and site visit to be done by 30 April 2022.
  6. Small model and budget to be handed in by 31 May 2022
  7. Winner announced by mid – June 2022.
  8. Winner has a maximum period of one year to complete the model. Last installation date mid – June 2023.
  9. No limit on applicants
  10. No limit in material used, except no tyres. Preference to natural elements. Sculpture should have a long lifetime as it will be a permanent fixture and needs to be considered when making a decision on the material used.
  11. Root44 funds winner to build life size sculpture.
  12. Winner orders material, Root44 buys and material delivered and stored at Root44.
  13. Budget for winning large scale sculpture for material. Budget to be handed in together with small model proposal. Artist to stick withing 10% of budget
  14. Specify scale –Size determined by artist after site visit has been done
  15. The public will choose top 3. Public will log on to Root 44 website to vote.
  16. Winner to be chosen from Top 3 candidates by Root44.
  17. The winner will win R100 000. R50 000 on commencement on site of artwork and R50 000 on completion. Also fantastic artist exposure!

come on over to Root44

We Can't Wait to See You!

Fun Run:

Coming Soon


Saturday 09h00-17h00
Sunday 09h00-17h00

Please note that we will not be open on Fridays from 1 May – 30 September, during this period we will only be open on Saturdays and Sunday.

Call Us

021 300 3935

Visit Us

Corner of R44 and Annandale Rd, Stellenbosch

Email Us