Curatorial statement, Elfriede Dreyer
Fire dance deals with the Great Fire of 7 to 12 June 2017 when large-scale fires hit the Garden Route – and especially Knysna. About 600 buildings, houses and a large number of informal homes were destroyed. Being the biggest fire disaster to hit the area since 1869, the furious and tsunami-like Great Fire left behind inmeasurable pain, loss and a landscape of destruction. Yet, the Great Fire should also be considered in die bigger perspective of global warming and fire ecology: in certain ecosystems fire is a systemic process that makes an essential contribution to habitat renewal, as with the Cape fynbos that needs fire to germinate, establish and reproduce. The exhibition entails artworks of the CAP (Contemporary Art Practice) group of artists that hail from the Garden Route area and all experienced the fire in direct or indirect way: through homes that were destroyed; the angst of looming destruction and evacuation; or the trauma of friends and family that were hit and suffered losses. The works deal with these emotions, as well as with the cycle of life and death in nature and in people’s lives. The CAP artists work under mentorship of Prof Elfriede Dreyer - curator, academic and artist – who is also the curator of this exhibition.
KKNK (Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees)
Oudtshoorn, Western Cape
29 March – 4 April 2018