The body of work of Akunzo consists mostly of ephemeral, site-specific projects, in which natural materials are used. The projects of Akunzo have a strong commitment to the environment. They are a reflection on the site or the history of the site, or have to do with the concern about the future of the planet.
Akunzo usually uses natural materials from the vicinity of the site such as earth, branches, shells or seeds and they add unnatural elements related to the subject of the work. The projects are multi-interpretable and sometimes with a little humor.
Over the past few years my work has been mainly concerned with ‘place’ and belonging within the context of the global environmental crisis. My practice evolved from being interested in representing threatened indigenous flowers through flower painting to immersing myself within the complex networks that encompasses a natural landscape and from there allowing my work to emerge. The emergent work is mostly a response to a conversation with a place which involves deep listening processes. The work often has ritualistic aspects contained within its form which allows for the development of an intimate connection with place and self. The connection part of the work includes invocations such as singing, touching, prayer and sitting as witness to the place for extended periods of time. The work that emerges from these practices depends on the place.
I’m an artist interested in the embodiment of invisible soundstreams that reveal friction in sociality. I create ephemeral and unpredictable playgrounds where listeners can eat or wear sounds to reflect on ways of hearing the world. Tankwa Artscape Camp will be a unique opportunity to meet other artists and develop collaborative projects about diverse modes of communication and transmission.
In recent years I have been deeply interested in the relationships between cultures through the mirror of the relationship between man and nature. I assume that art based on the direct relationship between man and nature could create a unique visual language that is the basis of our visual culture.
… we must also remember who the others – before the others, even before the memories of the others – have been. Who are those that have been on the land, walked the land, before all time? What are the ‘memories of the memories of the memories’ of All Memories of the Land?
Our form is dance, furniture/structure-interaction and film.
On a macroscale, we want to represent an interaction between human and desert. An exploration of a fractal landscape is the exposition, as a human body enters the space. We are guests in an ancient place…..
I resonate deeply with the work of Ana Mendieta in which she uses her body with the Earth - melding with the earth, working with mud, sand, burrowing in. I plan and hope to find my own language in using my body within the land - guided by my own relationship and experience of the specific site and sense of place.
Having experienced the unique magic of the Tankwa Artscape residency last year, I am elated to have the opportunity to partake once again in an artistic exploration of such an enthralling landscape
Most of my thoughts and ideas for building an artwork in the Tankwa evolve around and are steered towards the Bushmen who lived in this region.
“Capsule” is an idea that I have been working on for a while now, it involves holding the story of these people in a protected sacred space.
I would like to explore two intentions, paying homage to the ancestors and the
forces of nature.
My previous visit to Tankwa connected my musical creations to the
environment. For this part I want to work with one of the abandoned water
reservoirs as a resonator and construct a musical instrument for all who visit,
to play and enjoy. It is inspired by the San musical tradition of musical bows.
The second part is based on the interface between man and wind, one of the
primary creative forces in the Tankwa.
The wind has marked rocks and creates ephemeral images continually.
I will construct an object, which will draw images on the desert floor, driven by
the wind. The Tankwa will add a unique mystery to the final outcome.
I hope to use materials sourced at Tankwa. I am looking forward to the
challenge of interacting with the landscape and making marks.
We will breathe with the wind of the desert. The sound will carry us. Every stone will accompany our steps.
The Bodhi Tree of the Tankwa Karoo will be a sanctuary of meditation and silence under the only indigenous sweet camel thorn tree (Acacia Erioloba) left on the banks of a dry tributary riverbed to the Tankwa riverbed. The front part of an old rusty bakkie will be transformed into a sheltered meditation space.
Silence is the poetics of space. Listening, I blend into my environment, I gain entry by absorbing the silence. This is my meditation in the Tankwa riverbed.