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Tue, 14 Mar


West Coast Peninsula

EVOLVE (Fully booked)

ARTIST WORKSHOP & EXHIBITION West Coast Fossil Park Workshop: 14 – 17 March 2023 Exhibition: 17 March – 30 April 2023 Presenter: Prof. Elfriede Dreyer

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EVOLVE (Fully booked)
EVOLVE (Fully booked)

Time & Location

14 Mar 2023, 09:00 – 17 Mar 2023, 20:00

West Coast Peninsula, W Coast Fossil Park, West Coast Peninsula, South Africa

About the event


West Coast Fossil Park

Workshop: 14 – 17 March 2023

Exhibition: 17 March – 30 April 2023

Presenter: Prof. Elfriede Dreyer

CONTACT: | +27 83 2712342


Join me for the EVOLVE workshop in the beautiful and fascinating  environment of the West Coast Fossil Park near Langebaan! It is approximately 130Km from Cape Town as well as the CT airport. The Park is world-renowned for its exceptionally well-preserved fossil and faunal remains that date to the terminal Miocene/early Pliocene (c. 5.2 million years ago). A national and international team of researchers are currently unravelling the fascinating and unique history of fossils from the West Coast Fossil Park and attempting to recreate the environment and climate of the west coast some 5 million years ago. At this time many animals that are now extinct, such as saber-toothed cats, short-necked giraffes, hunting hyenas and African bears, roamed the west coast which then had a more subtropical climate with lush, riverine forests and open grasslands.

In this very special environment the dig with the fossils can be viewed as well as life-size maquettes and photos of the extinct animals. We will also experience the particular landscape and vegetation of the area. This environment will act as a stimulus for the workshop on the development of ideas surrounding archive, history, evolution and growth (as a result of specific existing conditions), applied to specific artmaking techniques.


The workshop’s theme of EVOLVE is not directly concerned with extinct animals or the beautiful landscape of the West Coast per se. We will consider the notion of animality and human beings’ relationship with animals and we will experience the land, but we will not necessarily be working with these aspects. But you are of course more than welcome to do so. Rather, our objective will be for the environment to serve as a stimulus for the development of ideas surrounding change, evolution, progress, decline, cause and effect, spontaneous happening and process. In this regard we will firstly work with processes of spontaneous ‘happenings’, happy accidents and free-flowing creativity. We will use pouring techniques, mix materials and let media do what they want, but control them in accordance with an idea. As a second strategy we will explore layering techniques in response to the archival surroundings of the Park. Advanced experimental thinking and creativity will be cultivated and developed. There will be focus on each participant’s individual art production, techniques and thought processes. Each participant will produce several artworks during the workshop and the best thereof will be go on exhibition.


The exhibition will function as a culmination to the workshop and all participants will have the opportunity to exhibit their work in the exhibition spaces of the Park building. The exhibition will open on Friday 17 March 2023. Work will be for sale.

Meals and accommodation

The West Coast Chef School has a restaurant at the Park where specialised meals can be enjoyed. You can also bring your own food and there are many other restaurants in the area.

If needed accommodation can be arranged in Langebaan which is 10 minutes from the Park. There are many Airbnb and other forms of accommodation from budget to more expensive. Once you have booked a list of available accommodation venues will be provided.

Preparation and Materials

After you have booked for the workshop you will receive a document outlining your preparation for the workshop.

Your preparation will include some reading; some thinking; and putting together art materials.


Bring all your materials to the venue on the first day, it is safe there and nothing will disappear. The workshop will start at 9am sharp.

DAY 1: 14 March, 9am – 4pm

Morning: Exploring the environment and visiting the Park.

Afternoon: Discussion.

DAY 2: 15 March, 9am – 4pm

Spontaneous happening: Exploration and experimentation

DAY 3: 16 March, 9am – 4pm

Layering: Exploration and experimentation

DAY 4: 17 March, 9am – 4pm

Setting up of the exhibition.

Opening of the exhibition, time TBC.


R2000 excluding materials or accommodation.

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