reconsecrating the earth

Welcome to the Eco-shrine in Hogsback

Double rainbow over the Eco-Shrine

click any picture to enlarge...

I built the Eco-Shrine in 1995 because I felt impelled to make a place
where art and nature, science and a sense of the sacred come together.

Diana with Olive

Diana Graham

I am an artist and I live in a small village in the Amathole Mountains of the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

I wanted to give artistic expression to the scientific facts regarding the origin of Earth and of life on Earth. I wanted to give the onlooker the experience that the Earth and all of life upon it form a single interdependent whole.

For many thousands of years our ancestors all over the world regarded the Earth as part of the sacred.

The Eco-Shrine is my attempt to re-establish this in a contemporary and plausible way.

Visitors to the shrine are immediately struck by breathtaking views of mountains, waterfalls and valleys and in the foreground, the shrine nestling into the forest verge, looking as if it has always been there.

This, coupled with the uncommon sight of large oil paintings displayed in sculpted upright structures in the open air, is memorable.

Eco-Shrine

The Eco-Shrine with a spectacular view of the Hogsback mountains

Painting: Eco-Angel

"Ecological Self"
An image of the Earth from space has been moulded into a female form.
She blossoms in spring.

The painting "Ecological Self" gives form to the fact that the Earth and all of life on Earth are one interconnected, interrelated and interdependent whole.

As you enter the Eco-Shrine, you will see two angels set above the mosaic gates.

Bonisile Malgas and family
Sculpture

The Angels on the Gates
Medium: cement fondue.

The angels combine images of bird, woman and man. They symbolize the kinship between humans and other species.

A bird on a pole is a universal symbol of safe passage of the spirit.

Dagamnyama Wara, a bricklayer from the Tyume valley, helped me build a low walled, brick enclosure roughly the size of a tennis court with large upright structures which hold paintings on the South side and mosaics on the North. There is a central fishpond.

 

Due to the nature of their discipline, scientists are unable to explore or express all aspects of a creative process.

In this painting I show the Earth forming in a cloud of star residue, or nebula, similar to the well known Horse head Nebula.

I painted rivers of gold around the early life forms which started in the waters of Earth. Life took to the air in the form of a reptile with feathers, archaeopteryx.

I also tried to impart a sense of rapture.

 

Painting in the Eco-Shrine
Cement relief

Part of the cement relief which covers all the walls
of the enclosure.

The cement relief which covers all the brickwork depicts the evolution of life on Earth. This frieze, though geologically accurate, has a free flowing expressive quality.

The mosaics are a compilation of ancient images made by San artists and photographs of the universe from the Hubble space telescope.

The San were the first people in the Hogsback area. They upheld the tryst of reciprocity between themselves and the Earth. They made provision for the generations to come.

Mosaics

View of the mosaics.