South African land artist, Strijdom van der Merwe, uses mostly natural materials to create art. He generally limits himself to materials that are found at the site where he is working, such as sand, wood, water and stone (though he sometimes brings elements like cloth). He creates geometric patterns from these materials that look as if they spring from the environment, and yet are not part of it.
For this work, Van der Merwe drew inspiration from the rock engravings of Driekopseiland in the Riet River, near Kimberley. The artist investigated and studied the symbols in these rock engravings, and then reconstructed them in new forms – at a different scale and in other materials – to form new landscapes in the environment. In this way, Van der Merwe participates in a process that the artists of Driekopseiland began long before him, and “participates in a universal human need to ‘mark’ the landscape”. We do not know exactly what the original symbols signified. However, Van der Merwe lends new meaning to the symbols and gives new identity to the surrounding landscape in which they are made. He uses maps and photographs to precisely document the places where the original artworks were made; this documentation remains, but the original work will disappear.