the trinity session is an artist collective and consultancy based between Johannesburg and Vienna, Austria. We specialise in public art installations, multimedia-performances and placemaking through art. Our approach to project creation, development and implementation is informed by intensive context and place-specific, social and cultural research, which governs our collaborative and participatory methods of co-production and shared authorship. As a consequence of South Africa’s multi-lingual, multi-racial and multi-cultural society, we argue for a multi-disciplinary approach to thinking and doing.
In 2019, The Trinity Session relocated its operations to The Orchards Project, in Orchards, a location laden with rich social, cultural and environmental histories of Johannesburg. And much of our work for the City of Johannesburg’s #ArtMyJozi Place Making Through Art Programme has been conducted from these premises.
With the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic in March 2020, the national lockdowns that followed and witnessing the protests and looting that took place in July 2021; food security for regular citizens came into sharp focus, highlighting a whole range of concerns, around basic nutrition, affordability, accessibility, availability and quality.
With a view to rethinking our own sustainability and ways of re-imagining our social and cultural eco-systems in relation to people and communities we interact with on an ongoing basis; we sought to maximise our resources at home, at our Tipper workshop at The Orchards Project and through our social networks of cultural producers in different parts of Johannesburg, Soweto and Alexandra Township.
The national lockdowns of 2020 provided unprecedented periods of personal research and production time, which filtered through to our networks using various digital and online tools. As a result, a soft programme of knowledge exchange emerged around growing food, which in turn lead to a form of cultural mapping, where our personal growing spaces became networked; increasingly informing our understanding of people and places through a new lens and attitude towards sharing, testing, designing and making.
Through the course of 2021 we were able to bring some of these practices closer to our workshop space, slowly introducing small groups to our project work, through installations and exhibition work in progress, with a view to intensifying our network of knowledge systems and collaborators.
The Tipper Workshop at The Orchards Project and recently upgraded surrounding park lands make for a dynamic multi-functional location, equipped to support a wide range of programmed activities bridging our ‘green projects’ to a broader local and extended audience.
Through engagement with local residents, schools, urban creatives, artists and designers, growers, etc. our programme will respond to the recent upgrades of Paterson Park, Short Road Park and the Louis Botha Transit Corridor, through activations that explore the present day interrelationships between; landscape, history, community, creativity, eco-environmental futures and so on. And given that much of our work is centred around developing public spaces and engaging with the community through public art and skills sharing programmes; interactions with families, children in particular tells us that children must be central to the design thinking process, in turn influencing how we approach planning in our cities.