Art & Science in the Cacadu District of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province
This talk explores the interdisciplinary and collaborative faculty-student research project led by David Craig and Andries Fourie of Willamette University’s art and biology departments in the summer of 2013. Fourie and Craig, with three Willamette students, traveled to South Africa to explore the connections between identity, ecology, and place in the Cacadu District of the Eastern Cape Province through cooperative work with the visual art and botany departments of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The Cacadu District, a refugium during the last ice age, is home to a particularly diverse mosaic of plant biomes including subtropical thicket and fynbos. It is also in the region where cognitively modern humans evolved, and houses the world’s southernmost intact elephant population. After their return to the United States, the artists and scientists worked together to produce and exhibit a body of artwork that embodied the insights they gained from their shared work in South Africa.
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