Monday, April 28, 2014

Cape Land Art gathering: Witsands Beach

Want to join on Sunday 18 May 2014 and create land art at Witsands Beach? 

The focus is on process, on temporary work and exploration. For more information, go to or Also join the Site_Specific facebook page if you have not done so already:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Site_Specific JOZI: Anni Snyman, Andrea Cristoforetti, Katty Vandenberghe

ANNI SNYMAN working with Andrea Cristoforetti, Katty Vandenberghe and helpful Johannesburg Botanical Garden staff who decided to bring all the yellow leaves they could find. Anni built up an image of a robin with leaves found in the area, home-made flour & sugar glue. This leaf painting is in honour of a robin living at this site, and also has the ability to attract insects. The painstaking process of collecting and sorting leaves in the area, and arranging them into feathered patterns becomes part of a meditative practice in honour of the animal depicted. 

Photos by Anni Snyman & :kat~

Anni Snyman is one of the directors and founding partners of Site_Specific. She works in various media ranging from traditional prints, photography, digitally manipulated images and animations, to three dimensional installations and sculptures. She actively seeks collaborations with other artists, and has organised several 'Kunstellasies' – juxtapositions of different creative disciplines in public spaces.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Architecture of Help: designing for life, improving lives

For most of us mud houses are something of the past. We are used to modern houses, tall apartment blocks and skyscrapers. Our homes are made of the best materials. We know there are small zinc sheet homes for the poor. Just as there are zinc homes, there are also plenty of places in Africa where mud houses are still used. Nka Foundation makes us aware of this situation and is reaching out a helping hand in a creative and innovative manner. It is currently accepting ideas and proposals from designers, architects and builders to improve these mud houses and entries can come for anywhere around the world.

Design Problem: A Typical Mud House at Abetenim Village

Nka is an Igbo and Akan word, and together they refer to art being an ancient tradition, one of the most ancient activities to be taken on by humans. It is a well chosen name, since Nka Foundation is focused on capital development through the use of different art forms, such as visual arts, architecture and performing arts. They hope to broaden people’s scope through their Mud House Design Competition.

The competition is open for entries until the 31st of August. The selection of the winning designs will be chosen between 15 September and 30 September by a panel of judges.

This competition aims to reach more than one goal:
  1. Nka Foundation hopes to solve a “design problem” of homes in Ghana (more specifically the Ashanti Region), that causes people to have a stereotypical perception of mud houses being for the poor. The solution will enable the people of different wealth classes to think more openly about mud houses and to eventually also live in mud houses which are less expensive than cement houses. Nka Foundation is trying to show people the potential of a well-designed and -built mud house.
  2. Another goal involves making people’s lives easier through this change. At the moment many people can’t afford a home of their own and often end up living in cramped spaces. By scraping the idea that a mud house makes for a bad home that will erode over time, these people can afford having their own humble space.
  3. This is an opportunity for the local labourers to learn from people all over the world. They will be able to build these homes for their own people, giving them work, experience and even confidence.
  4. In time the Mud House Design Competition will allow the people of Ghana (and elsewhere too, as the house that gets chosen becomes Open Source) to grow and live more comfortably. It also allows for better and more buildings. This alone should be a good enough reason to send in an entry or two! Another good reason is, of course, for the possible honour of winning, or at least a chance to build your portfolio.


Go to to read about the requirements, background, conditions, FAQ's and more. If you have the talent, you now have the chance to show it where it will matter: design for lives.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Site_Specific JOZI: Colleen Winter & Moira McMurray

COLLEEN WINTER made of natural materials, one including the dead branches of an acacia thorn tree.

MOIRA MCMURRAY, assisted by Daniel and David, had to come to grips with the realities of land art as her large leaves wilted in the heat of the sun. The challenge in working with natural materials is that they change form from one hour to the next. Understanding this medium comes with trial and error, and therein lies the challenge of creating a successful land art work.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Site_Specific JOZI: Angus Taylor

"Belated Wake II", donated by Angus Taylor as part of the JOZI Land Art event, remains part of the Johannesburg Botanical Garden even after the event. 'Belated Wake II' is part of a series of works of similar scale of a giant figure emerging from the ground.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Land Art gatherings in Western Cape starting up

Inspired by Site_Specific JOZI monthly meetings around Cape Town is being initiated by artists in the Western Cape to help connect us to one another and to the Land. The first of these meetings were held on Monday, 14 April 2014 in Radlof Park, Somerset-West.

This shared day of discussion and participation resulted in some site-specific temporary installations. To join the group for one of the next gatherings, go to the Facebook page, or subscribe to their mailing list:

A circle of wood figures by Janet Ranson

Accentuating the lines in rocks with water, and a water totem with green and yellow leaves from the river, by Janet Botes

Spiral-like pattern or line of yellow autumn leaves, by Adri Bezuidenhout

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Site_Specific JOZI: Gordon Froud, Colleen Winter, Kylie Serebro

GORDON FROUD working with Colleen Winter and Kylie Serebro created this rhino out of natural materials supplied by the garden. The rhino is a repeated form previously executed in Froud's popular coat-hanger style. The Rhino is life-size and looks as if it's happily grazing it's way through the garden. Rhino's are facing an alarming escalation in poaching, which has already wiped out the Western Black Rhino. Rhino's numbers are dwindling dangerously low, and if the situation isn't taken in hand, will disappear altogether.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cape Town/Helderberg Land Artist Meetup

Dear Artists,

Inspired by Site_Specific JOZI Janet Botes and Janet Ranson believe we need monthly meetings around Cape Town to help connect us to one another and to the Land!

Please join us next Monday (14 April 2014) in Radlof Park, Somerset-West, at the Gordon Road entrance, map.

Share a day of discussion, inspiration and installation. We will begin  at 9.30am, with a quiet, ‘Open Hearts, Empty Hands’ approach, as described by Wongil Jeon. This means walking into Nature and responding to whatever is there, in the environment. Whatever we build will be respectful, organic and temporary: we may even dismantle it at the end of the day. (Some of us do bring tools in our otherwise empty hands: e.g. cameras!)

Then we’ll share tea and chats, with 2 main aims:
  • Setting up regular monthly meetings
  • finding opportunities and venues for public site-specific events
RSVP if you’d like to join us on 14 April.
Mail if you’d like to be kept up-to-date.
Please send any advice or suggestions!

Janet Ranson -
Janet Botes -, +2772 331 5057