Buy tickets at for the prescribed burn performance

Locust and Grasshopper 2017 at Nirox Sculpture Park.

Ticket price include some complimentary craft beer from Mad Giant and a warm bowl of 
beef/vegetarian stew with bone marrow horseradish dombolo made by Slow Food Johannesburg.

Description: Projected view of new burn image superimposed over the ‘Eland and Benko’ 
performance burn from 2015. The prescribed burn into the grasslands re-imprints the 
experience so that the landscape ‘remembers’ the previous burn as it regrows.

Invitation to join Hannelie Coetzee for the live-burn of the second #FireGrazer image, 
Locust and Grasshopper 2017 into the grasslands at NIROX Sculpture park. This is an immersive 
performance and guests will have the opportunity to walk through the NIROX Winter Sculpture 
Fair up to a hill site where they can view the live burn from safety. Sundowners will be 
available and after the performance the audience will walk back down the hill to a light 
warm meal and the opening of an exclusive solo show of Hannelie Coetzee works curated by 
Lizamore & Associates.

Date:               Saturday 24th of June 2017

Time:               14h00pm- 18h00pm including walk to, and return from site

                    18h00pm light supper served with cash bar at NIROX Pavillion

(Ticket holders are welcome to enjoy the Nirox Winter Sculpture Fair from 10am)

Price:               R420 per adult R200 per child (Please note the walk is a 6km round trip)


The burn is dependent on the weather and the correct conditions for a safe burn. 
Should it be required it may move to Sunday the 21st of May. Ticket holders will be 
notified by email of any shifts by the 16th of May.

More Information

Projects like Locust & Grasshopper (2017) and Eland & Benko (2015) make scientific research 
accessible to the wider public in a user-friendly way. It develops mutual goals between 
disciplines that usually don’t overlap. This spark new ways to address assumed perceptions. 
For the 2017 re-burn, government funded Working on Fire will perform the prescribed savanna 
burn of Locust & Grasshopper at sunset.

About the scientific research

The 2015 –2016 research on the site tested whether small managed fires creates more diverse, 
more productive grassland communities by altering how antelope use the landscape. The 2017 
burn will take this further by assessing the value of this habitat from many different 
perspectives. For years, the law in South Africa was that farmers should wait until the 
first rains before burning, and avoid annual burns (Scott 1971). “

“We hope to use the art/science partnership to synthesise different perspectives on the 
same ecological phenomenon and engage the public more broadly to discuss how societal 
values influence conservation ideals and build consensus on appropriate land management" 
explains principal investigating scientist, Sally Archibald.

About the new Grasshopper study

In African grasslands with their abundance of large mammals many people forget about the 
smaller herbivores. Grasshoppers and termites can sometimes consume as much or more than 
these large mammals. Smaller animals like grasshoppers are also more dependent on particular 
habitats (or niches) and we suspect that there are particular grasshopper species which are 
adapted to and prefer the short-grazed patches that we have created, and that these habitats 
have value to a range of different organisms, not just Wildebeest and Blesbok. 
We will be testing this by systematically sampling Grasshopper communities in different 
habitats at NIROX, and monitoring how they respond to the fire artwork.

About the Exhibition

Alongside this ‘interactive performance piece’ Coetzee will exhibit a range of artworks which 
become remnants of the various ecological projects which have inspired her.

These artworks are responsive in nature and use found objects with more traditional art 
practices to fossilize her message around human relation to nature and its evolution. 
Where the scientific research and process is logistical, scientific and researched, 
Coetzee’s art making can become emotive and embody the human reaction to what she finds. 
Here she showcases artworks which speak to her practice over the years and how art can be 
used to interpret environmental issues.

This can be seen in the insect and plant paper pressings which show the duality of beauty 
and aggression within these ink pressings. The African Migratory Locust swarm which form 
part of the exhibition have been kindly donated by the University of the Witwatersrand 
APES Museum as a decommissioned swarming study which D.J. Nolte had been studying in the 
1960 -70’s. Along with these pressings, Coetzee plans on creating a large scale sculptural 
work which will capture the intricate formation of the Locust swarm as they take flight.

Coetzee will also exhibit a series of images from the 2015 Eland and Benko burn.

This palimpsestous layering of visuals and scientific purposes leads back into Coetzee’s 
creative and scientific process of collaborative art and research.

What questions do we ask and what habitats do we leave behind? Coetzee poses these questions 
through the choice of artwork and scientific intervention which draws a parallel to how human 
behaviour differs and changes and what traces it leaves behind. As the scientific study meets 
the art, these often-conflicting schools of thought run parallel within the same site, 
providing a meeting of heads and hearts.

Coetzee selects her subject matter to not only expand and educate herself on these intricate 
elements of our environment but also to make these complex systems visible for the public.

Providing a sense of socio-environmental commentary on the Anthropocene Era (the geological 
age where human activity has visibly changed the environment) Coetzee argues that the drastic 
changes in our climate, in the name of ‘progress’/ development/ innovation, is at the expense 
of a sustainable ecological future therefore advocating for building more resilient systems 
approaches. Coetzee argues: “My approach to this controversial fact is that if we could 

change the weather, we should be able to figure out how to live appropriately with nature 
and adapt to it. This performative art intervention, and the many other projects I explore, 
use this premise with art as the tool for interpreting scientific research as it happens. 

Coetzee is inspired by the idea that ‘emotion is the glue that makes reason stick’[1]. 
With these multi-dimensional interventions and responsive artworks, Coetzee prods a 
growing audience who is learning as the scientists are discovering new knowledge, inspiring 
a sense of active citizenry.

[1] Nathanael Johnson, Unseen city: The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of 
Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness (2016)