Augmented Reality (AR) just brought an exciting new dimension to the Kirstenbosch Garden experience making Kirstenbosch for Creatives. “Seeing the Invisible” is a contemporary art exhibition with a difference. Thirteen unique art installations are displayed simultaneously at twelve botanical gardens around the world, using AR technology.


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Kirstenbosch for creatives with the Seeing the Invisible app 

The open-air exhibition provides a safe way to interact with contemporary art during the confines of a global pandemic. Supported by the Jerusalem Foundation, this dynamic project was initiated by the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in partnership with Outset Contemporary Art Fund. The exhibition will run until 22nd August 2022.

It is worth noting that the dramatic seasonal changes that occur in the garden will make each visit a unique experience.

Kirstenbosch For Creatives

Kirstenbosch For Creatives


What is it?

“Seeing the Invisible” is an app based art exhibition that feels a little like magic.

Through the app, using GPS locations, inspiring, fun, and fantastical artworks appear on your screen at various locations within the scenic Kirstenbosch Garden.

The map on the app directs you to the location where you are instructed to angle your smartphone or tablet to face the ground and move it in a sweeping motion.

It then informs you that the artwork has been loaded and when you hold your phone up and move around you will be astounded by what you see.


Something for everyone

With school holidays looming your teens and tweens will love it. It is a terrific way to get the screen generation out into nature with their beloved phones in tow.

Take the office year-end function to a new level. Order a delicious picnic in the garden and use the app as a team-building exercise before lunch.

This is a great multi-generational activity with a serious twist of fun –someone might need to help the oldies to get started. 😊

Not only is this good fun, it’s educational too as you can read up on the artists via the app.


Calling creatives

The app offers a variety of ways to capture your creativity.
Once the artwork is visible on your phone you can direct your Insta partner to interact with it.
This can be captured and shared by doing a video screengrab, downloading an image on the app.
Experiment with different angles, close-ups, wide shots, and fun videos.
Search the tag #SeeingTheInvisible on Instagram for ideas and inspiration of the diverse ways to engage with the artworks.
The artworks are remarkably diverse so the is something for everyone.
Let us know which of the thirteen you loved the most and please share your videos and pics.



About the artwork and artists

 We won’t spoil it by telling you too much, but here is a little teaser.

The exhibition has a loose theme around nature, the environment and explores the connections between art, nature, and technology.

Chinese born contemporary artist, Ai Weiwei explores the issues of confinement, borders and power structures juxtaposed with caring, nurturing and preservation. The viewer is invited to enter the giant gilded cage and navigate the sections within, while looking out at the freedom beyond.

El Anatsui from Ghana is the only artist representing Africa. Discarded bottle tops are transformed from waste into something quite beautiful when joined together to create a grand scale hanging sculpture.

Australian Mel O’ Callaghan gives us Pneuma. Named for the ancient Greek word for breath, spirit or soul, O’ Callaghan takes the viewer on an aural breathing meditation. The visuals, perfectly in time with the breathing, appear as though nature is a giant lung, the view expanding and contracting with every breath.


Good to know before you go

  • Make sure you have a smartphone or tablet that is not more than three years old – the app does not work on older devices.
  • Run software updates on your device if necessary.
  • Make sure you have data on your device, there is no Wi-Fi once in the garden.
  • Pack your earbuds/headphones as the audio on the app adds to the experience.
  • Clean your screen to make it easier to take photos of the artwork.
  • It is best to go in the early morning, late afternoon or on a cloudy day as it is easier to view your screen and take photos.
  • Download the app at home if you can. “Seeing The Invisible”




On arrival at Kirstenbosch

  • Connect to the Wi-Fi at the Gate 1 entrance.
  • Open the “Seeing the Invisible” app and select Kirstenbosch as your location.
  • View the map of the locations of the various AR installations.
  • Turn on your data, the app uses GPS locations.
  • Follow the map and instructions in the app.


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There is no one way to explore all of the Cape Town Big 6, and much of what makes each of them so special is the variety of things to see and do at each. So if possible, take your time to explore each of the city’s most visited tourist attractions in as much depth as possible – as any local will tell you, you can spend a lifetime at each of the Big 6 and still not tire of them. Find the 3 and 4 day itineraries and tips here.

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