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Virtual Tour of the Eco‑Shrine

Welcome to the Virtual Tour

Creator and Curator: Diana Graham

I am an artist and I live on the edge of an ancient indigenous Afro-Montaine Forest in Hogsback, South Africa.

I felt deeply about the unrealistic, human-centered attitude of our current global culture, and feared the dire consequences - for all species, including humans - of climate change and other ecological abuses.

I created the Eco-Shrine, an outdoor artwork, in 1995 and 1996 because I felt the need to give artistic expression to the scientific facts regarding the origin of Earth and all life on Earth. I wanted to share my understanding of and sense of awe at the fundamental ecological truth of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all living creatures. The bricklayer Dagamnyama Wara and I started building in 1995 and the Eco-Shrine was opened in 1996.

The architecture, sculpture, mosaics, and paintings are my spontaneous reaction to the scientific story of our origins. The cement relief depicts aspects of the fossil record of the evolution of life. The mosaics are a compilation of trance-images made by the Bushman-San artists, together with images of the Cosmos taken by the Hubble space telescope. I think that ecological wisdom and modern science and technology hold the key to a sustainable future.

Diana explains:

Visualising Earth's Origins

Artist: Diana Graham
Medium: Oil and gesso on board

In this painting I visualized the Earth forming in a nebula or cloud of star residue in which planets and stars are born.

I visualized the beginnings of life on Earth and attempted to express my awe and wonder at the story of our origins.

Diana explains:

Earth Seed

Artist: Diana Graham
Medium: Oil and gesso on board

Gaia Theory or Earth Systems Theory suggests that the Earth forms a single living organism. In this painting I visualized an organic, egg-shaped universe giving birth to the Earth.

I painted the Hogsback Mountains on the perimeter.

Diana explains:

A Gateway to the New Cosmology

Artist: Diana Graham
Medium: Oil on board

Those who pass through this portal are in meditative mode. We seek new ways of being with the Earth.

We honour the wisdom of those ancient peoples who regarded themselves as an integral part of a sacred Earth.

We seek to build on this wise foundation.

Diana explains:

Lourie Fountain

Artist: Diana Graham
Medium: Oil on board

In this painting I present the evolution of the Knysna Lourie/Turaco as a sacred fountain of creativity.

Diana explains:

Eco-Baby

Artist: Diana Graham
Medium: Oil on board

I have shown how each developing foetus re-enacts the stages of our evolution.

This reminds us that we are an integral part of the natural order and not separate from it.

Diana explains:

Green-Man and Green-Woman

Artist: Diana Graham
Medium: Acrylic wash on redwood

This painted sculpture is made from a piece of the Californian Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) that was struck by lightning in 2000.

It is a contemporary African interpretation of the Green-Man found in cathedrals in England.

It replaces the original cement fondue sculpture that was destroyed in 2009 by baboons hunting for ants!

Diana explains:

"Shrine Window"

Designer: Diana Graham

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Diana explains:

Mountain with Xhosa Beads

Artist: Diana Graham
Medium: Oil on board

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Diana explains:

The Sacred Earth

Artist: Diana Graham

This figurine is a copy of an ancient image found in the French Pyrenees. 

It reminds us of Paleolithic times when people fully appreciated, and regarded as sacred, the life-giving, nourishing and regenerative powers of the Earth.

Diana explains:

Eco-Angel

Artist: Diana Graham
Medium: Oil on board

An image of the Earth as seen from space has been moulded into a female form. 

 She blossoms in spring. 

In this painting I explore the concept of “The Ecological Self” which reminds us that we are a physical part of the great eco-system, Earth. From this viewpoint we realize that we belong to the Earth, rather than that the Earth belongs to us.

Diana explains: