AfrikaBurn 2023: 24 to 30 April

Sutherland SKOPS Again!

Words and photos: Lindsay Cessford

The Sutherland Kuns Opvoedings Projek is an AfrikaBurn-funded arts development programme which kicked off in 2014. This latest round will see a large-scale artwork built collaboratively between residents of the Karoo town and the AfrikaBurn community, led by artist Nathan Victor Honey. Over the years this project crew have created the San Clan (2015), and Project O (2016).


Day one, or it is to me. Day two for Nathan Honey and his local team here in Sutherland. I
arrived yesterday from Cape Town, flying in from the UK to project-manage the build with Nathan and SKOP IV – and what an exciting build this promises to be.
This project isn’t just about the artwork or the artist. Although Nathan is of course pivotal to the success of this build, SKOP IV is about so much more: it’s about the local community here in Sutherland and Nathan’s vision to create a working platform to teach and share skills to help the unemployed in this small town, where times are hard and unemployment is high.
Of course we also want to build something wonderful for all you lovely dusty humans to
enjoy at AfrikaBurn, but we want you to know that this is so much more than just a big
wooden ball sat in the middle of the desert.
Currently we have seven locals working on the build. Benny, Kosie, Kosie’s his wife Cookie,
Werner, Fabian, Jerome, and Ratowin, all of whom I will tell you more about in the weeks to come. We are also looking for two local young women to join the team, as it’s really important to Nathan and for the project that we give everyone a fair chance to get involved, empowering both men and women and giving them the opportunity to learn new skills that can be transferred into their everyday lives and hopefully help to secure future employment.

So the team have been working hard over the last couple of days, alongside Chuck who has
previously worked with Nathan on the 2015 San Clan. He arrived last week from Canada and is Nathan’s right hand man when it comes to the build. Our first load of materials arrived on Sunday. We’re using recycled pallets and timber. The pallets are being de-nailed and disassembled as I type and the first segments that will create the structure have been cut. The scaffolding is up and we have started to lay out the initial design and you can already get a feel of how the centre ball is going to look.

Everyone is working so hard and we’re already making great progress. I am really excited
to not only watch this amazing piece of art grow in front of my eyes, but also watch the
growth of the people that are involved in this great project.
I hope you follow SKOP IV’s journey to AfrikaBurn and I’m looking forward to updating you again soon!
If anyone is interested in investing in this amazing project or getting more involved please
feel free to contact me on [email protected]

Follow the progress of this project in the 2nd update here.

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