Thursday, May 03, 2012

AfrikaBurn and Geodesic dome's demise.

Sculptures made from Wattle sticks
 Some of you may remember my previous post: Geodesic Domes and Africa Burns . Well the weekend  of the festival finally rolled around on the 25th April accompanied with  lots of preparation and anticipation. The Afrikaburn festival is held each year in the Tankwa Karoo National park about 250 km from Cape Town.
Reminiscent of the American Burning-man festival, it's a place for the more creative to let their hair down and showcase their artwork. Of course, being able to let your hair down also brings out the bizarre in some people as can be imagined.
Sixth graders art project
Now you may be wondering about the title of this post,  Geodesic Dome's demise, well that's what happened, it got ripped to shreds by the wind. It started out being very pretty, that only lasted for about a day, and then the wind took over in amazing strength and tore the covering to pieces. The frame itself survived intact but the fabric covering came back to Cape Town in tatters.
Wind blown
Oh well, lesson learned. Don't take on the elements with a light heart.
There's been a drought here for the last three years and, you guessed it, the rain came down in buckets on the very day James and Simone arrived and kept it up for two days. Talk about lousy timing.
Simon looking great
 By Thursday afternoon, although it was cold, the rain had at least let up and things were beginning to dry out. Time to start partying and from all accounts, that's exactly what happened.
One thing that is really great about these festivals is the practice of gifting, nothing sold, only given away. One young lady went around giving candy to all the children, and any adults who may have a sweet tooth. Another handing out nartjies (Tangerines) and of course there was Andy, who I've written about in previous posts here, doing screen printing on clothing.
Andy my friend, Simone and Andy's daughter Andy
Of course there were the breakfast suppliers, ladies who made french toast and egg rolls for those suffering from hangovers. And then, as can be imagined, there were the musicians. James was telling me that sleep was out of the question, music played all through the night at volumes only possible in large open spaces.
My friend Gerald is a regular attendee at these events where he takes a keen interest in the trance parties that just go on and on forever.
Dinner and a show.
At one point James and Simone were visiting someones tent when three musicians arrived and started playing for them while they ate, How cool is that?
Then there was the art works. So amazing how creative people can be. I consider myself to be relatively creative in certain areas, but when I look at what these people came up with, well what can I say other than, I'm humbled.
An Aloe made from foam
Hessian desert Rose

Resin fabric, kinda eerie

A spider that was here in Melkbos.
Without having this post go on and on for ever, which could easily happen, I'm going to publish a few photographs for you to get a feel for the ambiance. There is a huge amount that I've left out.

 And so I will probably do another post about this at a later date. I know Andy and his wife Margie have pictures they will allow me to publish here so that is probably what is going to happen.
In the mean time, may God look on AfrikaBurn and smile at the antics of his children enjoying this life he has given them.


  1. I am sorry to hear about the covering for the dome. Well at least you were able to show it whole and complete for one day.

    I love the aloe and the desert rose, pretty and the Wattle stick sculptures are amazing!


  2. Child of God hi.
    The covering isn't all that much of a bid deal, it didn't fit too well and was going to have to be re-done anyway.
    These were only a few of the pictures James took of the artworks. I'll publish a few more and try to post a video of those that moved.
    AfrikaBurn isn't as big as BurningMan that is held in the U.S. but Artists are artists no matter where they may be.
    Blessings and thanks, Geoff.

  3. Wow some of the art pieces were really good! Sorry that yours got destroyed.

  4. So glad you got a picture before your piece was destroyed. The project looked beautiful. I love all the pictures you took:)
    Happy weekend!

  5. My favorite is the desert rose. So appropriate & 'desert like' - (that correct English?) Mmm ... re the dome - come let the 'boertjie' show you how to camp Engelsman! or rather,stabilize the canvas cause Murphy's law,you think the wind won't blow & it won't rain,guess what? Karoo or not!! But I am sure James had a great time and looking forward to more pics etc.

  6. Om my gosh those sculptures are AMAZING!!! What an awesome festival. I would love to be there. The dome was very pretty, sorry to hear of it's demise Geoff but it looked really good. I didn't see any photos of you in there! Love Di ♥

  7. Thank you for the photos. It's wonderful to be transported to another place visually, as I look out at the Colorado Rockies and imagine the forces that created them and the African landscape.