tankwa artscape residency at stonehenge private reserve

Dec. 15, 2023
Tankwa, Pretoria, South Africa

Imagine a desert floor, undisturbed by human traffic. It’s not the absence of life that is so dramatically visual. It is a few million years old retrospective of ancient seabed and cataclysmic geological events in Earth history, and the footprint of storms and water flow in the riverbeds. Vast pans nudge aside scrub and vlei and gentle hills and land, which drop outside of the quick glance, towards a perimeter of deep-set mountain horizon.

Tankwa Artscape Residency, founded in 2017, is a yearly FREE artist residency for 10-12 national and international artists in the Tankwa Karoo, South Africa.

It is a two week residency for artists working in the fields of site-responsive sculptural art, spoken word/sound, movement/performance art. It is a unique experience in the desert for the most part using found materials or/and body and vocal performance, diving extremely deep into the creative sources. Applications for permanent artworks are encouraged, however go through an additional selection process. Much is ephemeral or performance based, and some of the work involves the gathering of experiences / ideas / possibilities that will translate into artworks at a later stage.

The conceptual focus is on interacting creatively with the vast environment of the Tankwa Karoo and the history, politics, ecology and culture of the place. Tankwa Artscape aims at providing a space for conscious confrontation of the artist with harsh, relatively unspoiled nature. Each artist then deals with this confrontation in an individual creative way, giving rise to artworks that render this confrontation visible, audible, touchable.

Themes of shelter versus open space, nourishment versus scarcity, protection versus vulnerability start to define what is naturally happening in that landscape. The fauna, flora, geology and history of the Tankwa and its people will further inform artistic concepts.

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Tankwa Artscape Residency at Stonehenge Private Reserve

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