WORDS Malibongwe Tyilo PHOTOS Tracy Lee Lynch
The newest addition to the sublime gardens at Babylonstoren is a giant sculpture of a dog by artist Frank van Reenen and interior decorator Tracy Lee Lynch. The mutt is currently covered in bird feed, but as that is chomped by its feathered friends, a decorative Delft surface pattern will be revealed.
Franschhoek’s Babylonstoren farm has been growing in popularity ever since it opened the doors of its restaurant and guest suites back in 2010. Just take a look at the two-month waiting list for a table at the restaurant. Part the farm’s charm is the incredible attention to detail, which goes across everything from its spa, exquisitely designed guest suites that combine traditional Cape Dutch architecture with modern luxury accommodation and, of course, its epic garden.
A visit to the farm is never complete without a walk in the garden that, besides being super pretty, also grows the food served at Babylonstoren. We’ve reported before on the insect hotel, glass conservatory and teahouse and Delft design details that all add to the magical meander through the gardens. Now the walk has been made even more interesting through the addition of Delft Dog, a sculpture by interior decorator Tracy Lee Lynch working together with her husband, artist Frank van Reenen.
The sculpture is a giant portrait of the couple’s French bulldog, Truman. Frank regularly works with dogs as subjects in his artworks and this larger-than-life portrait covered in Delft patterns is an amazing example of the theme. Says Tracy: “I was inspired by the historical reference to the Cape Dutch Delft that punctuates the landscape at Babylonstoren and also by the nature and wildlife. The contrast of domestic gardens with the magnificent farm garden at Babylonstoren also became the inspiration. The scale of the garden and the focus on revealing our history and sharing nature with the public was my focus.” says Tracy
At the moment, the sculpture is covered in bird feed, so that the full effect of the Delft pattern will only be revealed to the visitors as the birds eat away at the food. “Domestic bird feeders that appear in urban gardens became the playful reference,” explains Tracy. “I wanted to attract and feed the birds and, by doing so, reveal the Delft pattern – just as people are attracted to Babylonstoren and its historical context, which you experience while strolling through the garden”
So next time you’re in the garden, make sure to look for Truman’s Delft-tastic giant face, in his most beautiful incarnation yet.