Nelson Mandela Square to host three month immersive art exhibition



One of South Africa’s most popular retail and dining destinations, Nelson Mandela Square is giving art lovers new reasons to visit. 

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This weekend, a new art exhibition by internationally-acclaimed local sculptor Anton Smit was unveiled, in collaboration with the Artyli Gallery. Titled Colossal, Smit’s collection of mesmerising pieces has transformed the Square into an open-air gallery with over twenty sculptures, spaciously positioned to be explored and enjoyed.

Art is often described as metamorphic in nature as it opens a contemplative space where our perceptions can be shifted through our interaction with a piece that speaks to us on a subconscious level. Walking through Nelson Mandela Square, you feel compelled to pause for a moment while being transformed by the beauty and power of Smit’s monumental sculptures, all of which draw inspiration from different facets of South African identity.

The title piece of this exhibition is Colossal Youth, a four-metre- high sculpture which embodies the spirit of contemporary Africa. Smit is not only an renowned sculptor. He is also a poet and uses his poetry to describe his artworks. Of Colossal Youth, he writes:


@ilovezacom Sculptor Anton Smit chats to us after taking us on a tour of his sculptures around Nelson Mandela Square The exhibition of Anton Smit's work in collaboration with is open to the public and will be on display for the next 3 months #AntonSmit #AntonSmitArt #Sculptor #SculptureArtist #OnTheSquare #LiveArtOnTheSquare #Exhibition #Artyli #ArtKeepsGoing #AfricanArt #Art #Sculpture #ColossalSculpture #LiveForTheStory #withGalaxy #Photographer #Videographer #Journalist #ContentCreator #DigitalMarketing #DigitalAdvertising #DigitalMedia #Durban #Johannesburg #CapeTown #Sandton #fyp #SouthAfricanTikTok #TikTokSA #SouthAfrica #Mzansi #iloveza❤️🇿🇦 #AfterFajrGrind @SamsungSouthAfrica ♬ original sound -

"How the gold-striated landscape corrupted the life of man.

Making him slave to its infernal fire.

Transforming his identity from a child of the vast open spaces, to this shackled existence.

Miraculously he emerged from the pit of Egoli, stronger than before,

and now stands proud but in submission to his heavenly Father

a symbol of the City of Gold.

My flesh covers the tough clay,

my bones to rocks are metamorphosed,

that’s the cold northern star burning

in my eyes, those legs, those thighs,

my monstrous trunk, my erect head,

here it ends”

– Anton Smit.

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Nelson Mandela Square is home to over 70 exclusive retail outlets and restaurants, many of which are unique in the country. Whether you’re in the mood for a good South African steak, the most generous Greek platters, the best French wine, real Mediterranean cuisine, or leisurely cups of creamy Italian coffee, you will find it at Nelson Mandela Square. Art, Live on the Square is expected to become a regular feature with further exhibitions planned for future.

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“We are thrilled to welcome the Colossal Exhibition to Nelson Mandela Square”

says Preston Gaddy, General Manager of Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square.


“Anton Smit’s extraordinary art adds a new layer of elegance and sophistication to our destination and is the perfect addition to a night of fine dining, an afternoon of shopping or while simply enjoying the splendour of the Square

he added.

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The Colossal exhibition at Nelson Mandela Square, in collaboration with Artyli, will be available to view until 31 October 2022.There is no charge to view the exhibition.

*Exhibition dates and details are subject to change. 

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