Posts Tagged With: fibre art

Desert Wilderness

In 2002 I went with a group of geologists on an epic trip to Namibia. It was a journey like none other I had ever been on and a landscape like none other I had ever seen. Vast, desolate, and harsh in it’s aridity and isolation, I found it haunting and mesmerizing in it’s beauty. So when I received an invitation in 2011 to join my friend on another adventure to the Richtersveld, the northern most border of which adjoins southern Namibia, the temptation to go was irresistible.

From stories I had heard of the Richtersveld, it sounded like a magnificent place, though in my mind it was shrouded with an element of danger due to it’s isolation and complete lack of amenities. Unlike the previous expedition, this time we traveled alone. After three days of driving from the E.Cape diagonally across South Africa, we finally arrived on the bleak and foggy West coast, turned right at Port Nolloth and drove northwards parallel to the coast, until we reached the Orange River, which we then followed inland for a short while until after cresting a hill, below us lay the dark and ominous mountain ranges of the Richtersveld National Park. As we approached the entry gate, I had the sensation of us entering the legendary Mordor from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I felt a mixture of excitement and trepidation.

The first night was spent camping on the banks of the mighty Orange River.

Entering the Richtersveld National Park

Our first night stop

Heading out into the wilderness

Heading out into the wilderness

Our first sighting of a kokerboom tree

Our first sighting of a Kokerboom (Aloe dichotoma)

A view across the Richtersveld

A view across the Richtersveld

As we traveled deeper and deeper into the maze of arid mountain ranges, the sense of isolation and our vulnerability grew. We had no cell or satellite phone contact and in the four days we were there, saw only one other group of travelers. Clearly we were on our own.

A view of the typical gradations in rock colour

A view of the typical gradations in rock colour

Desert beauty

Desert beauty

After an adventurous day of driving over narrow, rocky tracks, we finally wound our way down to Tatasberg Wilderness rest camp on the banks of the Orange River, where we had the luxury of staying in a comfortable little cabin.

Our second night in the desert was spent on the banks of the Orange River

Our second night in the desert was spent on the banks of the Orange River

After a bit of a slow start, when we found ourselves stuck in the silt, we made our way through magnificent jagged mountain valleys that led us up to the famous Kokerboomkloof, the ultimate in desert isolation eeriness. I felt like we were the only people alive on this planet, and with the nearest water supply being over 40 kms away and no form of communication with the outside world, I shuddered at the thought of us having an emergency. We were completely and utterly alone in the most splendid desert Eden. What a way to go.

Desert flower garden at the Kokerboomkloof camp site

Desert flowers at the Kokerboomkloof camp site

The Kokerboomkloof  camp area is striking in it’s scenic beauty, with magnificent rust coloured, sculptural  rock formations and trees that add to it’s primordial atmosphere.

Being at Kokerboomkloof is like being in a desert sculpture garden

Being at Kokerboomkloof is like being in a desert sculpture garden

With sentries standing watch, as we slept out in the open

With sentries standing watch, as we slept out in the open

A view across the Richtersveld

A typical view of the Richtersveld’s lunar landscape

For me, this journey was a surreal encounter with the unknown. It challenged me on many levels, and left me knowing that there is still so much about myself and this world that I don’t know. As with my trip through Namibia, it reminded me of our human fragility and our relative unimportance in the grand scheme of things, but it left me feeling so much stronger and richer for having had the experience of meeting it, if only for a short time.

The desert requires a full exhibition of it’s own, in fact a lifetime of exhibitions if I really think about it, and still I would only scratch the tiniest surface, so, in my forthcoming exhibition Delta & Desert: Journeys into the Wilderness, I have very humbly attempted to express just a tiny fraction of what I saw. I believe that this is just the beginning, and I plan to continue adding to this body of work.

The world at our feet

The world at our feet

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Categories: Exhibitions, Inspiration, Landscapes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Festival 2013 Exhibition

There’s a flurry of activity in the studio at the moment, and with only a month to go, there’s not much time left until my exhibition opens at the Carinus Arts Centre, Grahamstown. This exhibition will be a Fringe event at the National Arts Festival 2013.

The exhibition, entitled Delta & Desert: Journeys Into the Wilderness will be opening on Wednesday 26th June. All are welcome.

To give you a hint of what is to come, here is the exhibition poster:

Poster 2

An exhibition of recent works, inspired by my journeys into the Okavango Delta of Botswana, and the Richtersveld of South Africa.

I will be bringing you more on this shortly…

Categories: Drawing, Exhibitions, Fibre Art, Landscapes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where it all began…

I was going through some old photographs the other day, and came upon several  images of my very early batik work. These got me thinking about what inspired that work and what has happened since then that has led me to the point that I am at now.

I have always found it difficult to talk about my work without first explaining where I come from. So, today I am going to share with you the images that I found, and in the next few posts, I will fill in some of the background.

Sally 1982 Batiks web

From a South African magazine article featuring me with my batik work in 1982

A nostalgic interpretation of the river on our old family farm in Zimbabwe

A nostalgic interpretation of the river on our old family farm in Zimbabwe. 1982

A batik depicting a Fish Eagle in the Okavango Delta of Botswana

A batik depicting a Fish Eagle in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. 1981

My artwork documents my life’s journey, so in order to understand the work, you will need to know a little of the road that I have taken. In my next post, I will tell you about the family that I come from and give you a glimpse into a childhood spent playing in African soil.

Categories: Fibre Art, Inspiration, Landscapes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Fishes swim to cooler waters…

Two weeks ago, I, like so many mothers before me, wrapped my babes in bubbles and sent them on their way. Their incubation period seems to have taken quite  some time, but when I finally decided they were ready, they flipped their fins and swam to cooler climes. Born and bred in my sunny South African studio, they have now headed north to experience the chill of an English winter.

Magic Fish 1web

Magic Fish 2 web

Magic Fish 3 web

These magical fish are just the latest in a series that I have been working on over the past three years. Specially commissioned, they are made of ‘found’ material, and are a blend of silks, satins, rusted metal and embroidery. Although they look quite simple to make, they are fiddly little critters that demand an awful lot of time!!

To see more of my Fibre Art, visit my website:http://www.sallyscott.co.za

Categories: Fibre Art | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Creative Hand Embroidery Workshop

In anticipation of an exciting new series of Creative Sewing workshops that I have planned for next year, I will be holding a beginner’s Basic Hand Embroidery Workshop this coming Saturday 24th November.

With just three days to go until the big event, I thought I would give you a glimpse into the studio to see what’s going on.

It’s guaranteed to be fun, relaxing day of “Me” time, so if anyone out there is still interested in joining us, please contact me, as I might just be able to squeeze you in!

Make sure to watch my Pinboard for lots of pics next week, when I bring you a post on all the workshop feedback!

Categories: Fibre Art, Uncategorized, Workshops | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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