"Dirt is Good" sand installation at THAT Art Fair, Salt River, Cape Town

‘Dirt is Good’ installation at That Art Fair, Cape Town

Dirt is Good was a process- and time-based soil installation from 27 February to 1 March 2015. Created on the first day of THAT ART FAIR, in Salt River (Cape Town, South Africa), I created this drawing/design by pouring soil from my garden into lines and neatening each line with a paint brush.

I invited Fair goers to add drawings and thoughts onto paper, which I then integrated into the drawing. Over the next two days of the Fair the installation changed as people walked over and through it. Passers-by thus collaborated by giving their thoughts as well as changing the soil drawing with their feet.

So often we only value art that would last, and even outlast us, but how much more valuable is art and expression that captures our own fleeting nature and the impermanence of everything we experience. It is in the fleeing and present moment that we find real value – not in dwelling in the past nor worrying about the future.

We have been conditioned to believe that dust and dirt is ‘bad’, and kids are now kept from playing in the mud in the way that I used to play in it. We forget that the most nutritious and healthy foods come from the soil (and not a fridge, lab or factory).

I think it’s time to rethink and relook on how we feel about the world around us.

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