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“At this residency I hope the land will invite us to see both scars and the medicine as we sit on the tamed lawns and enter the wild woods, or keep warm by a fire of wattle. What is inside and what is outside?”  

 

  • Georgina Hamilton, custodian of Bodhi Khaya land  

 

 

My response to the land of Bodhi Khaya was to betroth it. Early on during this inter-disciplinary residency I buried my wedding dress into the earth in an abandoned quarry site, situated high up on the mountain. The colours of the quarry hold magnificent ochres that range from a deep pink/purple to a limestone green. As I explored the terrain through regular walks I started collecting a variety of fynbos from the Overberg veld with permission from the custodian, but also from the trees and bushes I was collecting from. Through a process called eco-printin’ I was able to print a vast number and variety of leaf material onto fabric through a heat-transferring process. I view this fabric library as Book of Knowledge that holds the energies of the plant material from Bodhi Khaya land.

 

Mid-way through the week-long residency I chose my day of betrothal to the Earth and went up the mountainside to unearth my wedding dress which, by this time, had coloured to a deep pink-purple. Smearing my body and hair with the same ochre, I started my journey-of-betrothal by walking down the mountain whilst holding the Book of Knowledge out in front of me as an Offering of Gratitude to the land. 

 

By acknowledging my own colonising ancestral lineage, this journey with the Book of Knowledge is also a personal plea for forgiveness … not only for the environmental scars that remain on this land but so too for the historical land dispossession of the First Nations peoples of Southern Africa, the San and the Khoi.