In situ, Latin for “in the appropriate place,” is a serial landscape arts project, run by a team of collaborators. The project is intended to function as a collective creative outlet, allowing like-minded souls the opportunity to give full reign to their talents in a setting beyond the workplace. Acting on a shared passion for nature, the team periodically identifies a remote bit of countryside, and then sets about intervening, artistically. The intention is not to compel any specific interpretation, but rather to remind ourselves of nature’s grace and power, and of our place in it. The project additionally aims to showcase the team’s abilities: our innovative approach to research, technical expertise, artistic flair and our determination to see projects through. Each work is ephemeral, preserved in photography only, a medium that allows us to truly see and reflect on what we have created. Collaborators for both the designing and the building of the works are: Franco Fernandes, Marcii Goosen, Claire Johnson, Dale Lawrence, Christine Joubert, Bruce Mackay, Mareli Esterhuizen, Michael Lumby, Ethne Mudge and Roman Steinmetz. All photographic credit goes to the above list of people too. Copy credit goes to Ethne Mudge and Sean Christie. In Situ Kalkoennes and In Situ Tierkloof were produced by the team present at Clrs&Co between 2013 - 2014, while employed by Clrs&Co and TDC&Co. We thank TDC&Co for their support of this project.
Shamballa / Tierfontein, in the Koue Bokkeveld, Western Cape, South Africa
For in situ Vol.II we sought out the Tankwa Karoo, as much for its beauty as for its relative flatness, which suited our aim of producing an artwork that would stand out in a landscape, attracting maximum curiosity.
In deciding what kind of structure to create in this platteland we drew inspiration from the immense triangular dolosse that comprise the breakwater of the port of Cape Town, visible from the CLRS&Co studio window. If these shapes seem alien in an urban context, how much more uncanny, we wondered, might a pyramidal structure look in an open expanse?
Having settled on a shape, the question then became ‘how do we create the largest possible structure in the easiest way, using the least expensive materials?’ A delightful Ant Farm manual – Inflatocookbook, 1973 – pointed the way with detailed recipes on how to create cheap inflatables out of polyethylene and tape, supported by fans.
In due course we arrived at our chosen location bearing a 200m roll of clear plastic, and proceeded, by overlaying the plastic with wax paper, to iron pieces together, creating the invertebrate form of our triangular installation. The leaf blower we brought along to pressurize the creation worked admirably, raising a synthetic prism in the midst of the Tankwa’s martian rock formations and curious-looking succulents. As the sun dipped into the Koubokkeveld Mountains, blackening the earth, its last rays turned the legs of our creation a ghostly white, indistinguishable from the last scraps of cloud in the gun-metal sky.
Copy by Sean Christie
Bruce Mackay, Franco Fernandes, Dale Lawrence, Claire Johnson, Marcii Goosen, Christine Joubert, Mareli Esterhuizen (all formally of Clrs&Co.) Micheal Lumby, Roman Steinmetz, Natalie Nord.