Karoo Geoglyphs

Artwork in support of the communities at the forefront of protecting the biomes of vast stretches of arid landscape in Southern Africa.

Current Projects

Plans are underway to create two more geoglyphs in 2016

2016 : Riverine Rabbit Thinking Path

Loxton, the Karoo
Rabbit Jackal Thinking Path in Loxton, Karoo.

Rabbit Jackal Thinking Path in Loxton, Karoo. Concept sketch by Anni Snyman.

The Riverine Rabbit Thinking Path is a combined drawing of the highly endangered Riverine Rabbit and the very persecuted Black-Backed Jackel, both Karoo residents. This geoglyph is created in their honour.

2015 & 2016 : Dis Tyd (It's Time) music tour

The Karoo Geoglyph project grew out of Eugenie Grobler and Anni Snyman’s Creative Disobedience conversations of 2008. Although the making of the geoglyphs falls within the discipline of visual art, Eugenie has been an integral part of the journey - holding the creative space on many levels: in conversation, in imagination, through developing ritual and providing symbolic context and meaning for many people encountering the work. Her singer-songwriter performance at the launch of the Snake Eagle Thinking Path in 2015 was a culmination of more than a decade of collaboration. Eugenie’s song forms the sound track to the video of the Matjiesfontein launch and also marks the beginning of her tour: Dis Tyd.

2015 : Snake Eagle Thinking Path

Matjiesfontein, -33.229778, 20.578060

The Snake Eagle karoo geoglyph was completed at Matjiesfontein in 2015, and went live on Google Earth by 27 February 2016.

Anni Snyman and friends completed the Snake Eagle Thinking Path in February 2015. Image by Lance Foster of Fluid Films.

Anni Snyman in collaboration with PC Janse van Rensburg, and the help of Site_Specific artists, supporters and the Matjiesfontein community completed the Snake Eagle Thinking Path in February 2015. Image by Lance Foster of Fluid Films.

The Snake Eagle Thinking Path (meander) in Matjiesfontein is the first permanent geoglyph we have made. It is in honour of a breeding pair of Black Chested Snake Eagles resident in the area. We hope that the geoglyph will attract global attention via Google Earth to the precarious semi-arid biome of the Karoo, encouraging tourists to visit the town of Matjiesfontein and walk the meander.

The geoglyph consists of one continuous line - a footpath that leads the walker back to where s/he started, allowing the experience of wide open karoo veld and sky to soak in.

The Snake Eagle drawing celebrates the unity of specie and habitat. The heart of the eagle is formed by two intertwining shapes that symbolise not only the food of the eagle, but also the flow of water in the nearby river, and the air currents that keep it aloft. It is impossible to split the essence of an eagle from the wide expanse of sky that it inhabits, nor should a snake be imagined without the ground, vegetation and water of its home.

Tip to tip the drawing is 170m x 57m, and the continuous line covers a distance of 1536m. It was created by volunteers and friends of Site_Specific Art between September 2014 and February 2015. Made possible by the generous support of the Lord Milner Hotel, ClemenGold and Umvoto as well as every volunteer’s time, energy, passion and hard work. Aerial images created by Lance Foster of Fluid Films.

Meditations for the Snake Eagle Thinking Path

Earth is a living, breathing system that is susceptible to the intentions we impose. To engage our best intentions, we invite you to write a personal meditation to, or for, the Snake Eagle Thinking Path as a symbol of one of earth's countless living systems. Once we’ve received a sizeable collection, we will find a way to publish our favourite meditations, offering them to those who come to walk the path.

Links
Supporters

Site_Specific wishes to thank the following people for their support and participation in our Karoo Geoglyphs ‘Snake Eagle Thinking Path’ project in Matjiesfontein:

  • The Lord Milner Hotel in Matjiesfontein (Johan Dippenaar and John O'Reilly)
  • Umvoto hydrogeologists (Chris Hartnady and Rowena Hay)
  • ClemenGold (Abs van Rooyen, Michelle Kruger and Melanie van der Merwe)
  • Outreach Foundation/ Boitumelo (Erica Lüttich)
  • Matjiesfontein community members (path construction and craft projects)

The Site_Specific collective (artists, volunteers, supporters, participants)

  • Anni Snyman (Karoo Geoglyphs artist and project facilitator)
  • Andrew van der Merwe (land artist, beach calligrapher)
  • Beverley Gough (music promotor)
  • Bridget Foster (musician)
  • Bryan Hansen (community project facilitator and artist)
  • Cally Henderson (scientist, consultant)
  • Cha Davenport (artist and designer)
  • Chris Reinders (writer and publisher)
  • Di Koch (creative educator and facilitator)
  • Erica Lüttich (community projects facilitator and artist)
  • Erynne Ewart-Phipps (land artist)
  • Eugenie Grobler (musician)
  • Gordon Froud (sculptor, curator and educator)
  • Heather Greig (art and design projects events co-ordinator)
  • Ingrid Schöfmann (designer)
  • Janet Botes (land artist and designer)
  • Janet Ranson (artist)
  • Jessie Doucha (artist)
  • katty vandenberghe (digital media artist and designer)
  • Lance Foster (Fluid Films, aerial documentation)
  • Louise du Toit (philosopher and educator)
  • Mirella Bandini (artist and designer)
  • Pauline Froschauer (city transport infrastructure consultant and writer)
  • PC Janse van Rensburg (architect and artist)
  • Strijdom van der Merwe (land artist and co-founder of Site_Specific)
  • Terry De Vries (labyrinth artist, complimentary health and wellness therapist)
  • Tessa Kruger (writer, editor, journalist)

Footage (documentation & social media videos)

  • Fluid Films
  • Aerial Pictures SA
  • Human Being Pictures
  • End Game Media
  • [•]squareDot Media

2012 : Riverine Rabbit, Richmond

The Riverine Rabbit geoglyph was executed for the first time at the Richmond Boekefees in 2012. Anni Snyman & friends. Photography: Daron Chatz and Jade Holing. Image composition: Anni Snyman, katty vandenberghe, Daron Chatz, and Jade Holing.

The Riverine Rabbit geoglyph was executed for the first time at the Richmond Boekefees in 2012 by Anni Snyman & friends. Photography: Daron Chatz and Jade Holing. Image composition: Anni Snyman, katty vandenberghe, Daron Chatz, Jade Holing.

In October 2012 the team headed for the Richmond book festival, drawing out a small symbolic meander of the endangered Riverine Rabbit in the hope of actualising a large permanent version somewhere in the Karoo.

2009 : Earth Siren, Tankwa

In 2009 Anni Snyman and friends headed for Tankwa in the Karoo, South Africa, to complete the Earth Siren as part of AfrikaBurn.

In 2009 Anni Snyman and friends headed for Tankwa in the Karoo, South Africa, to complete the Earth Siren as part of AfrikaBurn. Google Earth managed to capture the geoglyph before it disappeared again.

In 2009 Anni Snyman & friends headed for the Tankwa AfrikaBurn event where they mapped out a large land art drawing of the Earth Siren meander, inviting Burners to walk it and contemplate the dire need for intervention in how we approach and treat our only home - earth. The Earth Siren was an alarm call, and the hope was to create a permanent version of her in the Karoo to call attention to the environmentally destructive development projects unfolding there.