Virginia McKenny was a guest speaker at Bodhi Khaya Residency 2022.

Listen here to a shorter and here to a longer version of her answer to a question on relevance of art in nature today

Kaldi Makutike  

Alisa Farr & Sonya Rademeyer   

The Bodhi Khaya Art Residency was a shared exploratory collaborative space for us.
It allowed us to challenge ourselves in terms of material (Mycelium) which we had never worked with before.
In many ways, Mycelium became the ‘third collaborator’ and a clear reminder that Nature can neither be coerced or manipulated.
We have been humbled by the process.

Christelle Viviers  

X-ground: a 6m x 6m installation consisting of ‘X’s made from two different kinds of plants / roots / leaves, which are tied at the centre, using soft grass. The work speaks of our interconnectivity, our individuality and also our hUmaNITY.

Kim Goodwin  

Tina Bester

The dolls emerge quietly and intuitively and tell a stories that weave Golden threads into the world.
For me the residency was a full elemental immersion through the rich landscape, and through the artists.
It took me to my edges.
It Re_shuffled me.
Re_connected me.
And concretised my elemental work

Kagiso Kekama

‘Reconnect, Cleanse, & New Beginnings’ is the title of my experimental performance piece, which is exactly that, the uncensored need to reconnect with myself after being diagnosed with breast cancer and after the necessary treatment.

The inspiration of the performance came as we walked about the forestry landscape of Bodhi Khaya, a sparkle was awakened, and exploration of the piece was birthed. I am a singer/songwriter with no performance style attached to it. The piece I developed is simply an offering of devotion, however with room to be improved & arranged for the theatre space. In the words of Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, I believe “There are tunnels now in the soil of me, thin channels of recovery, a blessed loosening, and a gradual renewal. Its unhurried, but I feel the air, the rain, the life coming in”. Thank You.

Inga Somdyala

Vuyokazi Ngemntu

Bongumusa Mnisi

“Nature’s elements personified when fire and night sky gazers met the birds’ chorus and orchestra of trees. Bundu bashing ankles finding home in mole holes by day. Talking stick addicts by night. A tribe of free spirits made awing art in the forest. Gratitude.”

Leli Hoch

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts… Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

Trees: An Anthology of Writings and Paintings” Herman Hesse

Photos by: Josie Borain, Bronwen Trupp, Tina Bester, Bongumusa Mnisi, Christelle Viviers