Leopard’s Leap’s association with leopards goes deeper than its name and internationally recognised wine brand and visitors to Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards will now be more aware of this passion, being greeted at the entrance by a magnificent sculpture, Standing Leopard III by famed sculptor, Dylan Lewis.
To Care is one of Leopard’s Leap’s passions and it has been a focus since the brand was established in 1999. Fittingly, it has been actively involved with the Cape Leopard Trust and its efforts with the plight of the Cape Mountain Leopard since its inception 10 years ago. As a sponsor and supporter of this NGO aiming at optimally facilitating the conservation of the Cape region’s predators, Leopard’s Leap “adopted” six leopards. The initial three leopards (Lisa, Ouma Maatjie and Johan*) roaming the Cederberg mountains were followed by a further three in the Franschhoek/Wemmershoek mountain ranges during 2011. These three have been named Nala, Enzo and Sheeva in an interactive “Name the Leopard” competition.
Sharing the passion for these glorious cats, is Dylan Lewis, a second generation South African artist who lives and works in the Winelands. Widely recognised as one of the world’s foremost sculptors of the animal form – especially big cats as a symbol of wilderness – he is also the artist behind the CAT collection for the WWF exhibition at Everard Read Gallery that opened in Johannesburg in 2013.
Born into an artistic family, with a sculptor father, an architect great-grandfather and both a mother and grandmother who painted, Lewis began his career as a painter and later turned to sculpture, now his dominant medium. His international career spans two decades and includes exhibitions in Paris, Sydney, Toronto, Houston and San Francisco as well as numerous shows and events in London, where he is among the few living artists to have held solo auctions of his work at Christie’s.
Joining forces at the annual fund raising Cape Leopard Trust Auction in 2014 with a semi-permanent installation welcoming guests to the event, this year a Dylan Lewis leopard sculpture will make out part of a silent auction for the benefit of the Cape Leopard Trust. A further 30% of proceeds from the sale of Alerted Leopard II Maquette, currently displayed in the Leopard’s Leap Tasting Room, will also be donated to the Cape Leopard Trust.
*These leopards were named after people in the Cederberg who are passionate about this conservation effort: Lisa, Ouma Maatjie and Johan van der Westhuizen, Chairman of the Cape Leopard Trust.
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