Spier Art Walk: Hotel
Head onto the lawn and start walking back towards the Tasting Room.
At the far end of the lawn are various sculptures of rocks. This is Jenna Burchell's Songsmith (The Great Karoo), a collection of interactive sound sculptures. Make your way over to them while I tell you more.
This installation forms part of Burchell's three part Songsmith series that are named after three geographic locations where rare and significant prehistoric events occurred.
Songsmith (The Great Karoo) represents the Permian-Triassic Extinction which resulted in an almost total loss of Earth's species around 260 million years ago. The event's volcanic activity left behind a distinctive white rock bed running for kilometres, like a chalk line across the mountains of the Great Karoo.
In March 2017, Burchell followed the extinction line from a farm near Matjiesfontein towards Lainsburg. Along the way she searched for fragments of suitable rocks according to a set of rules.
The fractured rocks are repaired using a Japanese method, Kintsukuroi, by which lacquer is mixed with gold, silver or platinum dust.
This is combined with custom-developed technology that allows each of the rocks to resonate with a different song when touched. The songs were generated from the raw electro-magnetic readings captured from beneath the rock's original resting place.
The installation proportionately represents the geographical locations of where each rock was found along the extinction line, based on a ratio of 1:0.1. The GPS coordinates serve as titles, engraved on the wooden bases.
I encourage you to spend some time with this installation. It is truly fascinating and thought provoking.
When you're ready to move on, head back onto the path that’s to the right of the tasting room, making your way back towards the Mosaic Kraal.