LandArt at The Space Between on Robberg Nature Reserve.
This directional Mandala pays tribute to all the elements.
Only natural materials found in the area were used on this Mandala.
The area had experience a powerful fire two years previously and the wood remnants and charcoal remains hold the memory of that fire. I worked paying tribute and in harmony to the reclaimed Vynbos and the overwhelming surrounding landscape. The piece stays true to the position and direction of East, West, North and South, creating a circular interface and sacred space, experienced within a human scale to deepen the engagement in nature.
To remove nature, to isolate it from human nature and then write about it, is an extremity as unproductive as the one which sees all nature as a (symbolic) version of man. Man is a part of Nature and to isolate one from the other, or to slide the one over the other, is to miss either the (related) complexity of both or the ‘solidity’ of each. The two are contiguous; and that is what I’m trying to get at in the ‘flower’ poems. If seen as contiguous, they can be seen as two components of a whole capable of mutual enrichment.
Silkin constructs a poetics in which affect and empathy are not restricted to human beings. In his Holocaust poems the boundaries of human and non-human are reconstituted through suffering and crisis. Plants and humans are forced to share experience due to the atrocity they witness together, leading to a reallocation of roles across species. Categories of the human and non-human become porous in Silkin’s poetic acts of anthropomorphising plants in order to push the boundaries of affect and empathy. This can be seen most explicitly in ‘Milkmaids’ (Flower Poems, 1964), ‘The People’ (The Principle of Water, 1974) and ‘Trying to Hide Treblinka’ (The Lens-Breakers, 1992) which depict concentration camp sites and construct ecological spaces of memory.
James E. Young. Young’s monograph The Texture of Memory
Abstraction for me is not the denying or the minimal pairing of a reality created in two dimensions, but the act of giving vent to the chaos of a personal reality through extreme gesture in paint and painterliness.
July – 2020
means of isolation
collage, doctors guaze, paint on pre-painted surface