The SCAPES art project aimed to encourage or promote the use of contemporary and transient practices. These incluse performance art, Land Art, installation art and recycled art. It also represents interactive events and activities that invite audience or viewer participation and community involvement.

Primarily the focus was on the interaction that we as humans have with our environment. This includes the way we feel in these environments – physically and emotionally. And subsequently the ways we attempt to either involve ourselves or escape from a specific area, situation or environment. It also aimed to explore the effect that a person’s environment has on an individual’s personality, lifestyle and perception. And the inevitable mark that we as individuals leave on our surrounding environment.

This project was meant to be an ongoing exploration and interaction with:

  • audiences (performance art),
  • viewers (exhibitions) and
  • participants (interactive events, performances and installations).

The project incidentally investigated ways in which art and creative interpretation can raise awareness and also create an interaction between artist, participant or individual with a specific environment or scape.

The spirit of this project lives on in most of the work I do.

Context for the SCAPES art project

We live in a post-industrialized world where we seem to be stagnating between progress and problem. Most of us strive for more knowledge and attaining more technology, convenience and financial security. We abuse and deplete the natural resources that were once abundant on our planet, and destroy habitats, forests, and our ocean. People who still live in harmony with nature, who respect and replenish the earth that they take their food and sustenance from, seem to be in the minority. The beaches, mountain trails and rivers are being conserved and enjoyed by few, while the malls, entertainment parks and cinemas are overflowing with people seeking escape, convenience, more material possessions or entertainment that requires no physical exertion or effort.

We have by large become disconnected from ourselves as natural beings, as interconnected parts of nature. As result of this, or as the cause of the result, we are destroying not only our planet, but ourselves. Currently a trend towards more healthy and organic living can be noticed. Many people are becoming more aware of our responsibility towards conserving our resources, and making more ethical choices. This transformation in awareness and people’s relationship towards the natural environment will impact on consumer-based industry and technology. Growing concern and involvement with fighting environmental degradation could stop and even reverse the negative effects that we inflict upon our planet. It is with this in mind that this project explores the different ways that people interact and perceive the natural environment.

SCAPES aim to include interactive performance and installation art, and collaborate with other artists, performers, organizations, groups and individuals. To participate in or support the project, please email art@janetbotes.co.za for more information on how to get involved.

SOME OUTCOMES:

SCAPES at HUMANEARTH
Land art by Andreé Bonthuys, Leli Hoch, Di Smith & Janet Botes as part of
Re(-)Presentations

SCRAPES & SCAPES
Exhibition at Bodutu Gallery, VUT, Vanderbijlpark,
May 2011

SAND(SPOOR]
Performance Art & Installation, July 2012
Arts Lounge, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown