At 26, Erynne Ewart-Phipps, is one of the youngest members of the Site_Specific collective, which she joined in 2013. When she is not involved with Site_Specific projects, she creates land art of her own under the guidance and support of artist Emma Willemse, a visual arts lecturer at UNISA. She participated both as volunteer and artist during the creation of the Snake Eagle Thinking Path. What drew Erynne to the project?
“Having seen pictures of giant images lain into the earth all around the world, I was both excited and intrigued by the Karoo geoglyphs project. The project involves geological and botanical insight - a personal interest of mine - as well as the opportunity to engage around the issue of hydraulic fracturing as a threat to one of our country’s most unique and harshly beautiful landscapes.
“But my greatest motivation for getting involved in the Snake Eagle Thinking Path project was simply to walk within that site; to engage in the landscape of such a desolate yet secretly thriving world of tortoises, beetles, weird plants and balancing rocks, of snakes and eagles.”
As a volunteer, Erynne worked hard walking the grid, digging, sweeping, applying the lime dots and replanting indigenous flora. But each volunteer was also encouraged to set aside time for themselves as artists, and she created braided grass wreaths, in a tribute to the circular lime dots that form the stepping stones of the path.
Photo Credits: Janet Botes