Eden to Addo Land Art Route : site 1
Simon Max Bannister
Site_Specific International Land Art Biennale • 2011
‘Aartmoeders’ was constructed by Simon Max Bannister as part of Site_Specific’s first International Land Art Biennale in 2011. The project was commissioned by The Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative, and comprises the inaugural step towards creating a land art route as part of the Robberg Coastal Corridor hiking trail that connects the Robberg Nature Reserve and Garden Route National Park.
The Griqua community of Kranshoek forms an important part of this project, its stone masons helped erect the elephant figures in a quarry just outside of their settlement along the top ridge. In 2011 and 2013 Griqua community members were active participants in Site_Specific’s International Land Art Biennales, and their support and participation is vital to the Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative. In 2011 communities from all over Plettenberg Bay came to witness the unveiling, many of whom had never been to Kranshoek before.
Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative’s vision hopes to connect the rapidly declining free roaming elephants of Knysna with those of the Addo Elephant National Park outside Port Elizabeth. These land art works entice the elephants and all the communities that live along this corridor to re-establish ancient elephant migration routes that traversed 400 km across seven mountain ridges and five biomes.
Utilising materials available in the surrounding area, Simon Max Bannister conceptualised the land art work in the Kranshoek quarry. By enhancing the natural folds in the weathered grey stones, the Griqua masons helped reposition ten large stone blocks, some weighing as much as two tons, using earth moving equipment. The result is three large elephants walking along the path, acting as talismans, and guarding over the long journey toward re-establishing their old migratory routes.
At this site a rocky coast covered in fynbos slopes down towards the ocean, offering visitors a phenomenal view.
Site_Specific and the Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative are not-for-profit NGO organisations.