Dear participants in Art Project Thanda, 2016
I’m happy to tell you that everything is working well here at Thanda/ Intibane in Zululand, South Africa. The great staff at the lodges are working around the clock to have everything ready in time for your arrival. Beautiful tables, supports and palette-tables have been made by skilful carpenters in Durban and sent up to the lodge. The container with art-supplies from Sweden, London and Paris arrives today, and I am now awaiting a call from Lucas, the man who will be in charge of staff at Intibane during our stay, to let me know that it has arrived to the house. Then we can start putting each respective cubicle up for you. We will be working in a huge collective work-shop.
Christian Sperka has put up a good photographic studio with lights and backdrops, should you wish to take pictures of specific objects or use live models. There are great possibilities to paint, film, draw and photograph in the amazing wild landscape that is surrounding Intibane. We will be living among all the wild animals. You will receive all the information you need, regarding safety. It is possible to walk freely in our own little village at Intibane, since it is surrounded by an electrical fence. Snakes, spiders and scorpions can get in, however, and there are certain recommendations that you will receive from Jennie, Sharon and Christian on how to stay safe while at Intibane. There will also be guards, staying with us during the week.
Every day it is possible to go on safaris. These are amazing and very often you can get very close to the impressive wild-life on the premises: Lions, elephants, bulls, rhinos, zebras.
The morning-safaris start at 05:00 and the afternoon-safaris are at four o’clock. Fantastic trackers and guides will pick you up in open Land-rovers and take you out in to the bush.
There will be an open bar 24 hours, brilliant staff who are ready to help and assist you, delicious meals that are served three times a day, and snacks available, should you feel peckish in between meals. I have decided that breakfast is served between 07:30 and 10:00. Lunch around two o’clock and dinner at around 21:00 or 21:30. After dinner one can go back to work or just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.
The internationally renowned writer, Jennifer Clement, arrived Monday evening and she is already visiting the Star for Life-schools, talking to the children and preparing for the story she will write for the book that will be made about our project, alongside the film that Jonas Hansson is making. Jonas and his wife Chrisse will follow our work during the week at Intibane.
Jennie and Sharon are preparing everything for you, and together with their professional team, they are transforming Intibane to suit our every need. As I am writing, the pool is being filled and gardeners are making the garden really beautiful: it has been raining a lot, the past few days, after a long period of drought, and the valley and hills are becoming greener and more enchanting for every day. The powerful Zulu-dancers and the singing Mamas are awaiting you, along with the very excited children at the Star for Life school, as is the wonderful staff of Thanda / Intibane, the trackers and guides, the animals, the ghosts and spirits that are always awake, ready to embrace you, sometimes scare you a little bit, but foremost, challenge you to get inspired and produce great work.
Together with everyone at Star for Life, Christin and Dan Olofsson, Pierre Delvaux, Sam Olofsson and Patric Salmonsson, Ken and Goran of Triple and Touch and their group of song-writers and composers, Jennie, Sharon, Christian, Warren, Lucas, Eric, Lucky and my assistant Nai, who is always with me, I am very happy to wish you welcome!
— Johan Falkman
A landscape is a landscape is a landscape…
I have always loved groups. Groups are as important for human history as they are for the personal development of each of their members. A group’s inner dynamics denotes exchange, dialogue, aims and emotions, not only as a body of people interacting with its environment, but among the individuals who conforms it.
Groups are a natural structure that does not only belong to the domain of human being, it extends, in different scales and intensities, to the world of animals, plants and microorganisms in a body and goes from there to the mysteries of the universe.
We are very excited to go to South Africa. We feel as if we were a colony, a herd, a cloud, a culture of individuals prepared to become part of another landscape and interact with it, intervene its composition, become another side of its elements, propitiate fusion and correlations.
Six individuals from Mexico, of different features, characteristics and modos, are leaving in a few days to glorious Thanda to encounter there with other individuals and groups from Sweden, United States and other places. We don’t know each other. The group in itself will be a new landscape of fresh visions, surprises and encounters. Together, we will all form a rich, plural new landscape in a landscape, in a landscape.
For me, the idea of landscape is central to our artistic collective experience in South Africa. The Landscape is the detonator, the main player of all. Landscape will provide us the possibility of experience its unlimited elements and layers: not only its colors, textures, and depths, its scents, its sounds and tastes, but as well, its cultural and sociological dimensions. Every aspect of the landscape, both personal and collective, will be transformed.
I think that movement and migration, definitive signs of our time, will become metaphors of our voyage: we will be in constant shift of points of view and change of perspectives. Therefore, adaptation, flexibility and agility, will become a constant state of mind that will broader our creativity.
The result of this trance will be a work of art that will bring together the reflection of all the above. Thanda will be a looking glass, a mirror of multiple faces, an unforgettable experience that will materialize in sublime art works. This will be a time of contemplation, meditation and revelation of the exterior and of oneself.
Can’t wait to experience this!
— Paloma Porra
Dear Fellow Travellers!
We have a fantastic opportunity to experience an authentic adventure. So what does this entail? Well, an adventure is an activity that involves an element of risk and often makes demands on the participants. A common trait of all adventures is that they give rise to powerful emotions. An adventure may take the form of a planned trip into the realm of Mother Nature, off the beaten track, or a visit to unfamiliar cultures.
Having the extraordinary opportunity to be involved in the Art Project Thanda in South Africa is saying yes to just such an adventure. Traveling to South Africa, the cradle of humanity, and getting to know this fascinating part of the world in the company of creative and inquisitive people from a range of different countries with a view to creating something valuable together feels remarkably meaningful.
Meeting the new and drawing on other people’s experiences for a limited time and in a place completely different to our usual surroundings is to risk coming home a changed person with new thoughts, ideas and impressions. It is a risk we have to take – and as an added bonus, we can look forward to building up memories of magnificent landscapes, scents, wild animals, conversations, laughter, serious talks, open fires, food, art and children … I am keenly looking forward to this adventure, counting down the days until it begins!
Looking forward to see you soon.
— Niclas Forsman