Cape Town Accommodation

About White Horse Statues

The five white horses on the grass of Sea Point's promenade are a permanent art sculpture commissioned by the City of Cape Town. These are not the first public art exhibitions to grace the lawn - in 2010 the series of a girl and dragonfly sculptures, by Marieke Prinsloo Rowe, were a fascinating addition to the walkway. Unfortunately these were never made permanent and left the promenade in 2011.

The inspiration for the artist of the white horses, Kevin Brand, is the SS South African Seafarer, which ran aground near Mouille Point lighthouse in 1966. Its cargo included bottles of White Horse Whiskey and the little white plastic horses usually tied to the bottles' necks washed up on the coastline (the bottles did too, but obviously the horses left a lasting impression).

Each horse has a horn (aluminium vuvuzela) in its mouth and its nether regions. Underground is tubing that connects these horns so that you can speak or blow into one end and it will travel to the other end of the exhibition, should someone want to listen – great for kids.

Understandably, not everyone likes these horses.

There is also an unusually huge pair of spectacles, entitled Perceiving Freedom along the pedestrianised promenade- a stainless steel 60m2 pair of specs by artist Michael Elion that pays tribute to the late Nelson Mandela where it stands facing across the ocean to Robben Island, just offshore.

Interestingly, the statue, which some describe as 'non-political and inclusionary' was vandalised in 2014 by a group known as the Tokolos Stencils who say they represent 'freedom and justice'.

The anti-poaching artwork, Rhinosaur, is probably everyone's firm favourite. At least it hasn't been vandalised. When you first see it, it appears as floating bits and pieces that make no coherent sense, until you reach the viewing platform (which functions as a rifle scope) where all the bits align to form a huge 3D rhino. This is the work of Andre Carl who first exhibited it at Afrikaburn, in timber.

All of the artworks were launched as part of art54, a public art programme for Ward 54 of Cape Town.

Need to Know

WhereSea Point's Beachfront Promenade, Sea Point, Cape Town

WhenBest during daylight hours.

How muchFree

TelephoneNot applicable

OvernightStay nearby in Sea Point, in Cape Town


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