Friday, September 6, 2013

Eden to Addo Corridor & Land Art Route

At the start of the 2013 Site_Specific Land Art Biennale week, on 11 August, the second artwork on the Eden to Addo Land Art Route - "Calling the Herd" by Strijdom van der Merwe - was unveiled.

"This exciting interactive land art work in the Keurbooms Corridor consists of several trumpet-like funnels combined in a tree shape. Visitors can blow these trumpets - recalling the sounds of elephants on their ancient migration route across the mountains. Symbolically this art work relates to the three elephant sculptures of Aartmoeders - calling them (and all humans that can hear the call)  to join in the Eden to Addo journey towards re-establishing nature's ancient routes for all species." - from the Site_Specific website

Eden to Addo is a conservation initiative that aims to create a living conservation corridor between the greater Garden Route National Park and Addo Elephant National Park some 400km to the east. In essence, and in layman's terms, they are hoping to place the corridors as plasters that heals the landscape - re-establishing migration patterns of animals, which in turn supports the biodiversity and health of the plants, trees and water in the region.

How does Land Art fit into this?

The corridor will be linked with land art pieces across various mountain ranges and biomes, symbolically and creatively linking the different communities, areas and other aspects of the entire landscape. The project is aimed at raising funds for conservation, at supporting the arts and also creating opportunities for the communities in the area. 

"By creating a platform for the exploration of art and ecology in SA, we aim to help the communities living within the corridor to explore the nature of their relationship with their environment. Hikers on the 400km Eden to Addo Great Corridor Hike held in September each year, will have an opportunity to enjoy art on route. And those that cannot hike will have the opportunity to drive from one land art piece to the next in time to come, creating a tourism attraction with its associated benefits for the landowners within the Eden to Addo Corridor." from the Eden to Addo website

While listening to the passionate and informative speech by Eden to Addo's Joan Berning at the unveiling of "Calling the Herd", I got the impression that the project is about MOVEMENT - the movement of animals, the movement of plants across the landscapes, the movement of water through catchment areas towards the rivers, and the movement of humans in harmony with nature. 

The first artwork on the Land Art Route - "Aartmoeders" by Simon Bannister in the Robberg Corridor has met the aims and ideals of the initiative in profound ways, especially in terms of community involvement. The artwork has become a focal point and meeting point for people to admire the surrounding fynbos and wild rocky coast. It has created an opportunity for the people of Kranshoek to guide tourists to the art piece.

I look forward to see and experience more about this ambitious and incredible initiative wherein art, nature and communities connect in powerful and beautiful ways. 

View this map, showing planned artworks and sites, at

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