Jenna Burchell, Songsmith (cradle of Humankind) S25˚58’47.2548” E27˚46’32.1672”, 2016, Stone, fossil, kiaat, resin, copper alloy, speaker and circuit, 32 x 80 x 32 cm. Courtesy the artist and Sulger-Buel Lovell
Jenna Burchell, Songsmith (cradle of Humankind) S25˚58’47.2548” E27˚46’32.1672”, 2016, Stone, fossil, kiaat, resin, copper alloy, speaker and circuit, 32 x 80 x 32 cm. Courtesy the artist and Sulger-Buel Lovell  

Jenna Burchell describes herself as an ‘anti-disciplinary artist’. Technology, science, sound and interactivity are common elements knitted together in her work. Burchell encourages contact by building interactive sculptural objects that viewers can play with. In her most recent work, Songsmith (Cradle of Humankind) the artist has repaired ancient, fractured rocks using the ancient Japanese method of Kintsukuroi – a process which mends the broken seams of objects using gold lacquer. By combining this philosophy of repair with contemporary sonification technologies, Burchell deftly probes the tools we use to listen to and thus narrate the past. These sonic sculptures emit the raw electro-magnetic readings captured from beneath each rock’s original resting place on the Khatlhampi Private Reserve situated within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Cradle of Humankind. This allows each rock to ‘sing’ of the land from which it derived.

Exhibitions include Songsmith (Cradle of Humankind), Cape Town Art Fair (2017); The Narrators, FNB Johannesburg Art Fair, Johannesburg (2015) and Homing, Lovell Conceptual, Woodstock, Cape Town (2014).