Land | Maps | Dreams | Visions

Sculptors, dancers, spoken word/sound artists, performance artists, land artists come together for a week-long artist residency at Bodhi Khaya to create on and with the land that surrounds them. Georgina Hamilton, custodian of Bodhi Khaya, outlines the conceptual background:

“In her book, “Rock/ Water/ Life: Ecology and Humanities for a Decolonial South Africa” Lesley Green says “The three gods of reason of the knowledge economy … serve to authorise extractivism, and their names are Technical Efficiency, Economic Profitability, and Scientific Objectivity. Like a game of rock-paper-scissors in which each has the capacity to trump the other, their wielding has the power to close and limit available evidence of harm to the earth, so that no other concerns might be imaginable, or seem viable, or reasonable.

We need a new story here on earth; about earth; for earth; for ourselves. That uncomfortable gap between environmental science and ecopolitics (including social justice)  is a good one for artists. What are the questions we don’t bother to ask or even know to ask? What are the shapes and connections we forget to see or haven’t stopped long enough to see. Where are we in the captured wild? 

Bodhi Khaya is among the wilder places in the Overberg yet it has many wounds. In addition to its toll on lives and livelihoods, Colonialism introduced animals and plants that had an effect on the environment like biological weapons. A hundred and fifty years of cattle grazing spread grass seed throughout the delicate Fynbos biome. Fast-growing wattles from Australia were brought in nearly 200 years ago to stabilize dunes and  feed a tanning industry. Today they are a significant fire hazard and “dynamic colonisers” of the Cape Floral Region. Their ability to take over much of this extraordinarily bio-diverse region is staggering and the focus of much hand-wringing and ineffiicient mitigation by environmentalists.

At this residency I hope the land will invite us to see both scars and the medicine as we sit on the tamed lawns and enter the wild woods, or keep warm by a fire of wattle.  What is inside and what is outside?

‘We think we imagine the land, but perhaps the land imagines us, and in its imaginings it shapes us. The exterior landscape interacts with our interior landscape, and in the resulting entanglements, we become something more than we otherwise could ever hope to be.’

Sharon Blackie, “The Enchanted Life

Open calls are advertised nationally on social media, VANSA, SANAVA, as well as internationally on RESARTIST and AININ. Acceptance of applications only on artistic merit through a curatorial team:

View the artists & artworks: 2021 | 2022