Nine renowned international land artists will travel along different routes in small groups, meeting and staying with local participating artists and supporters along the way. The tours will commence on 8 September and culminate in an exhibition in Cape Town on Thursday 6 October.
Patrick Tagoe-Turkson (Ghana) “Any art practice which has no spiritual base will never last – it will be transient.”
Patrick is no stranger to the South Korean nature art practice, travelling there to participate in nature art events with the Korean Nature Art Association since 2010, including the Geumgang Nature Art Biennale in Gongju.
As an artist he engages a wide range of media which includes drawing, painting, video, mixed media, performance and sculpture.
Patrick has also exhibited in Ghana, South Africa, Austria, Italy, Germany, Romania and Haiti.
Graduating from the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, Patrick Tagoe-Turkson became a practicing artist, senior lecturer, head of the painting department, and vice dean at the School of Applied Arts, Takoradi Polytechnic.
His book, ‘Asafo Flags with a Difference: Painting with Effutu Asafo Flag Art’, provides in-depth knowledge in traditional Effutu Asafo flag art culture, and explores new methods of making Effutu Asafo flags. Other publications include ‘Inspiration from Nature’, ‘Stone Stimuli’, and ‘Telling Stories Through Fabric’.
Mahmoud Maktabi (Iran) “I am interested in blending my body in the environment physically and using the human body as part of the work.”
Mahmoud has been an active participant in GNAP since it’s inception, traveling to South Korea, India, and we are honoured to have him join us on the South African leg of the Global Nomadic Art Project.
As a performance artist he engages his own body in a collaboration with nature. In his own words: “The unlimited investigation in the environment deepens as you get more absorbed in nature and as you search more. The placement of my body as part of the work simultaneously learns from its surroundings and at the same time adds to it conceptually. My work examines social and traditional concepts. To me life is an opportunity to discover the concept of beauty that constantly attracts me toward the source and nature of things. My confrontation with the environment and its infinite immensity has shown me a way to observe this beauty from a different way. What allows me to keep going in my work is the process to explore and to create using my physical self.”
Mahmoud Maktabi began his first artistic study in Persian painting in 1999. After graduating from the University of Tehran he turned to environmental art and performance in 2005. He has participated in several international exhibitions and festivals, attending 17 environmental art festivals in Iran. As curator his most recent engagement was Living Spaces which took place in Romania. Mahmoud has been the editor of two Recycling Art Festivals in Qazvin-Iran, has held two solo exhibitions in Tehran and one in Korea. In Canada his work was included in the CONTACT Photography Festival exhibition and at the Lithuanian Three Worlds in One exhibition curated by Edward Lucie Smith.
Imke Rust (Namibia / Germany) “… a mediative exploration process, trying to become one with the landscape through movement, stillness and touch.”
Imke Rust grew up in the Namibian desert, moving to Germany in 2010 to work as a land and multi-media artist. Imke regularly travels back to her beloved country of birth, splitting her creative endeavours between the forests of Germany and the deserts of Namibia.
Completing a Visual Arts degree at the University of South Africa, Imke has twice been nominated as the overall winner of the Standard Bank Namibia Biennale art competition. With German support and sponsorship she has managed to initiate cultural exchange programs between Berlin and Namibia.
She states: “My own artistic expression is versatile, with a strong attraction towards nature and land art. I also enjoy directly sharing the joy of creativity with others, through joined projects, workshops, interventions in public spaces and via my blog.” And continuous: “Throughout my career as an artist and curator I repeatedly questioned the purpose and possibilities of art. I experience today’s art industry as weirdly disconnected from the normal everyday lives of people and my own needs. The search for a more rewarding purpose for my own art making and creative expression has brought me to explore the question: can art do more (than being decorative or thought-provoking)? Could art heal or create rain? I am exploring these questions through my art and trying to ﬁnd out if and how the creative process could positively change and impact our reality in concrete ways.”
Website: visit www.imkerust.com
Eröss István is an associate professor at Eszterházy College in Eger and Director of the Visual Arts Institute. He graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 1995 as a printmaker, and attended institutions such as the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the Royal Academy of Art (The Hague) and the College of Fine Arts in Marseille. He has traveled to Africa on four previous occasions and has visited Asia 21 times as a guest artist, exhibitor, lecturer or curator at different artists’ camps and symposia. Eröss is the exhibitor and organiser of a series of international exchange exhibitions entitled Szegmens (Segments).
Over the last decade his primary focus has been on Nature Art, presenting a paper titled ‘Ephemeral Sculpture’ as part of the YATOO-i International Nature Art Seminar in 2015. In it he investigates the history and commodification of the art object in relation to sculpture in particular.
Read more here: http://yatooi.com/57792?ckattempt=1
Eröss’s long list of solo shows since 2010 include exhibitions in Romania, Japan, Croatia and Hungary. His work can be found in art collections in Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Taiwan, France, The Netherlands, South Korea, China, Iran and India.
Marie Gayatri (Sweden) “It is a strong personal conviction that the human condition for survival is dependent on how we relate to the environment”
Marie Gayatri works as an educator and artist, participating in more than 35 Nature Art projects around the world since the mid-1990’s. She has travelled to Mongolia and the Atacama Desert in Argentina, and ended up at the first international curators’ Nature Art Conference in South Korea in 2013. In 2014 she published ‘Locating Art Out of Doors – A Handbook for Educators’ and in 2016 she was invited to Cambodia as an educator for teachers and schoolchildren.
Marie says: “From an educational background in crafts, I started to examine how human relations are connected to sites and to wilderness. From these experiences, I developed a visual language expressing contemporary ethics. When approaching a new project I always reﬂect on the question: How do we relate to Nature and what does Nature mean to us? I use thoughts and feelings we have developed around the topic ‘Nature’ and choose a standpoint where Nature is valued in a certain way. From that standpoint, I start the practical aesthetic journey and allow myself to play and create images that are visually connected to the speciﬁc values of Nature that I’ve chosen to work from. … It is a strong personal conviction that the human condition for survival is dependent on how we relate to the environment and through artistic expression. I would like to highlight the importance of how identifying with the environment is an absolute condition for relating in time and space.”
Ulrika Sparre (Sweden) “I investigate the mechanisms, behaviours and social patterns that constitute our lives.”
Ulrika Sparre is a multi-media installation and performance artist who employs sculpture, photography, film and sound. Central themes in her work include the perception of nature, the quest for a higher truth, and a journey into spiritual experiences beyond the confines of religion.
Ulrika studied at Konstfack (University College of Arts, Craft and Design) in Stockholm and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. She has exhibited at Färgfabriken in Stockholm, Reykjavik Art Museum, Gallery Niklas Belenius, Växjö Konsthall, Stene Projects and the Interactive Institute. Ulrika has also performed a number of her projects outside the gallery in the public arena.
Ulrika Sparre is the recipient of the Becker Art Award (2008), the Stockholm City Cultural Award (2012) and a two-year working grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.
She continues: “I explore subjects like individualism and consumerism in contemporary society, and I am interested in how non-religious and scientific beliefs are expressed in the secularised western society of today. When our religions and collective stories no longer provide us with truth, we must seek it elsewhere. Some of humanity’s most common questions are existential: Does my life lead to something? Does it disappear into nothing? Commercialisation is gaining market shares in a world where our fear of emptiness, loss and existential vertigo has become a commodity.”
On her artwork she explains: “The recent work ‘On a clear day I can see forever’ examines how the experiences that we have overlooking the sea or into ourselves functions as a carrier of our individual seeking of truth. By evoking a collective existential thinking in the individualists’ mind, we can find our way to creating a sustainable future.”
Ko, Seung-hyun (Korea) “As an old poet did, I think about what I will do for the nature. I enjoy to connect my body to the lines drawn by nature.”
Ko, Seung-hyun is a founding member of YATOO, a Korean Nature Artists’ Association, which began in 1981 and has participated in more than 30 international nature art festivals since 1991. Since 2002 he has continuously installed ‘Kayageum’ based on the concept of ‘The Sound of A Hundred Years’. He is currently the committee leader for the Geumgang Nature Art Biennale. Ko is also working as a chief commissioner of the 2014-2018 Global Nomadic Art Project.
Ko’s most recent solo exhibition in 2013 was titled ‘The Sound of Hundred Years’ and took place at the Vilnius Kayageum (EUROPOS PARKAS), the Open-Air Art Museum in Lithuania. In 2015 Ko participated in the 2004-2015 Geumgang Nature Art Biennale (Gongju, Korea) and the 2014-2015 Global Nomadic Art Project – Korea (Gongju, Korea).
In his artists’ statement Ko wishes “to be part of the nature and do my best to do so”. He continues: “A spiders web with bright dewdrops at daybreak, lots of crabs and clams on the beach, worm eaten leaves, and green moss between the small rock lines in the gaps of large stones, the roots of an old tree, grazing cows, and the pure elements of the nature such as wind, water and soil are my working tools and subjects.”
Kim, Soon-im (Korea) “I am interested in the encounter between the objects and me, and how the memories created makes each object special.”
Kim, Soon-im lives in Incheon and works at the Incheon Art Platform (IAP). She lectures soft sculpture at Ewha Woman’s University and mixed media art at Konkuk University of South Korea.
Apart from numerous solo exhibitions, Kim, Soon-im participates in many group exhibitions. Last year she participated in the following Korean exhibitions: ‘Between Houses’ at the Uri Museum in Incheon; ‘Sharing Footsteps’ at the Youngeun Museum, Gyenggido Goangju; and ‘Winter and Bukhangang’ at the Baggat Art Daesungri Exhibition, Daesungri. In Seoul she participated in ‘Mindful Mindless’ at the SoMA Museum; ‘Accidental Encounter’ at the Buk Seoul Museum of Art; ‘Ewha Portfolio 2015’ at the Sunggok Museum; and ‘2114 KNOTS’ at the Atelier Turning.
Besides this impressive list of engagements Kim also participated in the Global Nomadic Art Project 2014 that took place in Korea.
Kim, Soon-im is a visual artist who interprets the people she encounters and the regions she visits by means of her own working method, often employing needlework as a reference from her childhood.
Childhood memories play an important role in how she approaches her work: “I grew up in the area of the Sobaek Mountain and spent time mostly in nature where I found my playmates in mountains and fields,” she says. “Growing up in a large family, I learned from my mother and grandmother, and became accustomed to needlework with which I could connect and associate things with needle and thread. I am interested in the ‘encounter’ between the objects and me and how the ‘memories’ created by these encounters could make each object special.”
Visit the website sitespecific.org.za/global-nomadic-art-project for more details.