Situated on 15 hectares of landscaped gardens and waterways within an extensive private nature reserve in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, NIROX Sculpture Park is renowned for its magnificent views, picturesque scenery, and overall tranquil locale. In recent years, it’s also earned a superior reputation for holding exhibitions and festivals of eminent worth, relating to all areas of contemporary art.
This weekend, NIROX presents its newest festival: NIROX |WORDS, the title being “Why The World…”, which invites artists and audience to finish the question as they may … why the world is the mess that it is … the challenge and the joy … why is it at all?
I posed a few questions to Batya Bricker, the festival’s Books Programme Coordinator, to get some background and understanding as to what exactly this festival is all about:
Q: So, obviously, my first question (actually more like 3 questions) is why WORDS now? After so many years of NIROX art, photography, music and sculpture? Where did the idea come from? What was the initial vision and has this materialised (so far) as was hoped? Where did the theme ‘Why the World …’ come from?
A: (I combined these questions because its part of one answer.)
Our world is in chaos. Can we do things differently to change this trajectory? Are there alternative ways to dissecting problems, and finding new solutions? Can words help us think differently? Create a new reality? Engage differently? The idea behind NIROX|WORDS is an exploration of how words can change the world – or not. All the art, music, poetry and book discussions explore this idea in different ways.
Q: How long has it taken from formulating the idea, to bring this to life?
A: About a year
Q: Did you have to approach all of the participants or did the word get out and did some of them start contacting you, saying that they want to be part of this?
A: A little of both. The idea that we need to approach our world in a different way is gaining traction across all walks of life and all over the globe. Whilst we approached some authors and artists, there were many who jumped at the opportunity to contribute to this conversation through their craft. This idea resonates with the zeitgeist.
Q: Where to from here?
A: We hope to make WORDS an annual weekend event attracting both local and international talent across all art forms.
And so, there you have it in a nutshell. To really get to grips with NIROX|WORDS though, you’ll have to just attend the festival this weekend and take in all the wonderful delights that the programme has to offer. There are a diverse range of talks, performances and films; an entire childrens’ section and of course various places to feed your body as well as your mind!
The programme starts at 10h00 on both Saturday and Sunday.
There are several ticketing options, so for a full list of these, to make your booking and get details of the festival programme, and everything else about NIROX (including how to get there), go to http://niroxwords.com/