Monday, 10 July 2017

Land art installations make an impact

CREATIVE: Landscape Technology students recently constructed land art installations at the Bellville Campus CREATIVE: Landscape Technology students recently constructed land art installations at the Bellville Campus

When tasked with thinking out of the box, Landscape Technology students proved they have what it takes to make their mark in their competitive industry.

As part of the department’s annual group project, landscape architecture lecturers Christine Thorne and Gerhard Griesel tasked the class to conceptualise, design and construct a land art installation that will illustrate the goal of Earth Hour, a global movement advocating environmental awareness in a bid to save the planet.

The project ran over several months and culminated recently when students had the opportunity to showcase their land art installations at the Bellville Campus.

Third-year student Ruan Rossouw together with his group focused on plastic bottles and the detrimental impact these products have on the environment. The group drew inspiration from the Spiral Jetty, an earthwork sculpture constructed in the 1970’s on the shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The sculpture forms a counterclockwise coil projecting from the shore of the lake.

“We created a spiral jetty to show how plastic is consuming a tree. It is aimed at making people aware of what they do when they litter,” he says.

Ruan says the project had a profound impact on the class.

“We learnt to look at nature with a softer eye,” he says.

Thembakazi Nayo, who is in her first-year, echoes Ruan’s statement and says the project was an “eye-opener” on how litter impacts on the environment.

Thembakazi’s group recreated the yin and yang symbol by using cardboard, recycled material and leaves to indicate how they interrelate to one another.

As part of the project students also produced a digital story reflecting on the project.

Thorne says the annual group project has been running for several years and each year the focus is on a land art installation as the nature of such installations lends itself to a design and construction process.

The Department of Horticultural Science is very proud, having achieved full professional accreditation for the landscape programme since the move to the Bellville campus as well as all three landscape architect lecturers currently registered for PhD studies.

*Applications for 2018 are open. To apply for the Diploma in Landscape Architecture (former Landscape Technology) course apply online at :

Written by Candes Keating

Tel: +27 21 959 6311

Provides coverage for the Engineering and Applied Sciences Faculties; the Bellville and Wellington Campuses, and research and innovation news.