i think it is fair to say 2020 has not gone as planned...
in february, when we were setting up our workshop to build artworks for a big international gathering in the middle of nowhere, covid-19 was still just something happening over there in asia.
but then the world quickly came to a halt, or rather a pause. the events we had lined up to work on for the year were slowly becoming less likely and eventually getting postponed or cancelled altogether. you know the deal - at that stage close to 3billion people worldwide were under lockdown...
so instead of heading out into the widest open space in the country we were locked inside our own erf. having said that - we are extremely fortunate with where we got locked up... our house has a huge garden and we had a growing list of 'to-dos' pinned to the fridge - all things we've never had enough time for. now suddenly we had 99 problems but time was not one...
for example, we have long wanted to grow our own food, use fewer little plastic bags, eat what is in season and be able to provide fresh produce to friends and hungry locals. and we tried, but numerous times our lifestyle (working away from home, living on site for weeks) and the hot, dry swartland climate nipped our attempts in the bud.
enter a national shutdown. in the few days between cyril's announcement and the hard lockdown coming into effect we rushed to draw plans, make shopping lists and get everything we would need to establish our garden and keep busy over the next three weeks.
first we built a chicken coop - finishing just in time to collect four hens from Kalmoesfontein, after dark, on 'the last day of freedom'.
we installed (upcycled) tanks to catch our kitchen and shower grey water and set up an irrigation system complete with electric pump. finally we could could plant seedlings and easily keep everything watered.
fast forward a few blurry days, our mandatory home time got extended by three more weeks. on the other side of the fence my brother had already converted an old covered picnic table unit into a tool shed and was 2m deep digging where he believes the property's original well was.
the coo-coo birds were singing, we clearly needed a new project,
so we decided to build a greenhouse.
i drew up plans - working with what we had: lots of repurposed plywood left over from the hammer; three(!) old shower doors, stored in the attic after various renovations and odd panes of glass hoarded by my father since the 80s...
what a journey. we learned so much. like we probably should have started with the foundation... and ideally you keep your measurements in proportion to the length and width of a sheet of ply, and putty looks better but is a lot less fun to work with than silicon in a tube... but we are super proud of our cosy grow room.
this experience has shown a spotlight on what is really important and fulfilling work to us and we've decided redirect of our skills and experience - back towards our forgotten buurtvrug project, with a 2020 spin.
going forward we want to:
plant (community) food gardens to employ and feed people.
actively help clean up the environment and turn plastic trash into useful resources and products.
use our networks to create a platform to uplift and realise dreams that otherwise would not have a leg to stand on.
and focus on small, intimate, curated events.
Exciting things are to come - hou my dop!