Return to the Land

Farm Residency : Dekop Northern Province South Africa

An ongoing Heritage Project.

The Process:

The Excavator. Qualities: Curious. Inquisitive. Adventurous. Playful.

Aspiring to discover an autonomous relationship of the objects in relation to the land.  This documenting stage of the process requires the discipline to remove any prejudice or preference, but remain in pure awe and a state of childlike discovery. Tension starts arising in the need to put a human presence to these objects, to tell a story. To relate to them in some way, as they all hold human remnants. This is how they got there in the first place. Yet, me as the excavator, holds no relevance to their is-ness.

What I explore through this Discipline in Delay, is the tendency as humans give meaning to our experiences, the need to make sense of things. However, through the act of naming, a sense of ownership takes place. Thus restricting  potential for a wholly inspired experience to communicate with us in ways out of our framed reference. To inspire and initiate new perception.

Document the forms and qualities of the objects; textures, interesting locations, intricacies and beauty. Experience how these lifeless objects engage with the landscape, note similarities, simulation and integration through decaying processes. Also note contradiction, rejection of objects in their displacement, and qualities posing dangers to this natural environment.  Allow the materials to inspire ideas, stories and concepts. However, the discipline is to absorb the energetic quality of inspiration, allowing the objects and environment to communicate to you. In a sensitive awareness of your own feelings, emotions and reactions during the process.  Make notes of these, in pictures or symbols where possible delaying the cognitive processing as long as possible. Keep playing in this field of inspiration ——meaning. Objective ——Subjective. Idea —–Concept.

Dekop - Farm Residency Northern Province - South Africa

Dekop – Farm Residency Northern Province – South Africa. Objects excavated on the Farm, the beauty of decay and deformed neglect.

Dekop - Farm Residency : Admiring the delicate craftmanship. Intentional creation of beauty or practical necessity?

Dekop – Farm Residency : Admiring the delicate craftmanship. Intentional creation of beauty or practical necessity?

Dekop - Farm Residency: Exploring the relationship of the materials to the landscape.

Dekop – Farm Residency: Exploring the relationship of the materials to the landscape. How rope simulates grass, roots and all and wire resembles sticks

Dekop - Farm Residency. Allowing the materials to inspire ideas and stories, but delaying the tendency to conceptualise and create meaning.

Dekop – Farm Residency. Allowing the materials to inspire ideas and stories, but delaying the tendency to conceptualise and create meaning.

The Collector. Qualities: Meticulous. Attentive. Persistent.

This part of the process involves an objective quality of bringing these objects into full awareness, and under scrutiny. There is a double sided role within this position, one of determination to clean the landscape, to clear the natural surroundings from the dangerous elements posed by the objects. A sense of responsibility. Also a dedication to document all objects, that none will be left unaccounted for. Interesting to note during this phase, how the initial excitement during the process of discovery weens off. How the uniqueness of the individual objects seem to lose their significance and wonder when piled in a heap, so easily they just become what they are easily perceived as, rusted and decayed useless objects.

I am being driven by feeling a sense of allegiance to my duty as curator and caretaker of the objects, after my personal experience of the excavation itself, the excitement and curiosity of the unknown being discovered.  The disruption to ants nests, the thorny bushes cutting my flesh, surprising introductions from local wild animals and the bond of fellowship with Buelah, my father’s dog.

Yet, my motivation begins to wane, feeling fatiqued after a long day in the sun, and sensing the need for some human contact, food and drink.

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Dekop 2.Dekop 3:  Farm Residency.Northern Province South Africa

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