11 Mar In Situ’s extraordinary and ephemeral landscape art
Through juxtaposition we’re aware of difference, and observing difference allows us to notice repeatedly overlooked yet unique characteristics of individual entities that are placed in contrast to each other. Serial landscape arts project, In Situ, intervenes with the canvas of nature by inserting large ephemeral installations in the countryside to remind us of the grace and magnitude of an environment untouched by urbanity. As a team of collaborators passionate about nature, this project allows them explore the full reign of their talents outside the office walls, and to date they’ve constructed a large fabric installation at Kalkoenes and a dolosse-inspired inflatable at Tierfontein.
In Tierfontein, the team challenged themselves to create “the largest structure in the easiest way, using the least expensive materials” and found an Ant Farm manual Inflatocookbook from the 70s with cheap recipes on how to make inexpensive inflatables. For this project they set out to the arid Tankwa Karoo with a 200 metre roll of clear plastic overlaid with plastic wax paper, and used a leaf blower to inflate the larger-than-life structure. The synthetic materials of the inflatable contrasted against the stark, open landscape and made the triangular installation seem like a stranded jellyfish inciting awe and curiosity.
In Kalkoenes they suspended 60 metres of cotton off sandstone cliffs creating a wave of fabric reminiscent of a party streamer. For 35 minutes on the outskirts of the Montague Mountain range, 40 kgs of orange cotton levitated at height of 50 metres before the rope gave way. Each installation presents its own set of challenges, encourages imaginative thought and draws attention to the beauty of the contrasting materiality presented by manmade objects and nature.
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