Hogsback in the Eastern Cape of South Africa holds a unique spot in the hearts of its visitors. The ethereal beauty of the landscape, with its dense forests and misty mountains, creates an atmosphere that feels like stepping into a dreamy fairy tale. The Hogsback Eco-shrine only adds to this magical ambiance. It is a unique blend of a sculpture, mosaic, and painting display, all placed in a beautiful location overlooking the valley and Hogsback Mountains.
The Artist behind the Hogsback Eco-Shrine
Diana Graham, the visionary behind the Eco-Shrine, built this unique art display on her private property in 1995. Her creation serves as an expression of the ecological reality that Earth is a vast and intricately interconnected organism, of which we are an integral part. Through her art, Diana endeavors to foster an understanding of not only our biological origins but also the discordance of the current capitalist system with ecological stability.
Visiting the Eco-Shrine
When we got to the shrine, Diana Graham herself met us there. She showed us around, explaining the meaning behind each painting.
The stories behind the art
From the very beginning, I fell in love with so many of the sculptures. The one that really caught my eye, though, was the “Earth Piece.” Diana explained that the painting represented the Earth Systems’ Theory, which sees the Earth and all its living beings as part of a unified, self-regulating organism. Diana used the symbolism of a seed to illustrate an egg-shaped universe holding the origins of galaxies, the seed of Earth, and the early forms of life.
The next painting ‘A Gateway To The New Cosmology ‘ was as equally intriguing. She explained how Einstein characterized our perception of an individual self as “an optical illusion of consciousness.” Diana believes that many people today, particularly the younger generation, are starting to comprehend and personally encounter the age-old wisdom that we are an integral part of the mountains, forests, rivers, trees, and all the elements comprising Earth’s ecosystems.
There are also some great sculptures among the paintings, and one in particular caught my attention – a mosaic-covered tree. This sculpture is a stylized depiction of a Sacred tree, inspired by the Nordic myth of Yggdrasil.
The shrine is impressive, but the views of the three main peaks in the area, known as the ‘Three Hogs,’ are equally stunning. These peaks got their name because they look like a hog’s spine. It’s said that the village, ‘Hogsback,’ was named after these unique mountains.
The Art Gallery
After chatting with Diana, she gave us the freedom to explore and appreciate the artwork at our own pace. We then headed to her private gallery, where she showcases her amazing artworks that you can buy.
The Eco-Shrine is not just beautifully artistic; it also gives us awesome views of the “Three Hogs.” It reminds us that the Earth is like a big, interconnected living thing, and we’re a part of it.
How to get to the Hogsback Eco-Shrine
Before you go, it’s a good idea to check the Eco-Shrine’s opening hours and see if you need to make any reservations in advance. You can find this info by reaching out to Diana through the Eco-Shrine website.
The best way to reach the eco-shrine is to follow the signs from the Hogsback main road. Alternatively, see below the GPS coordinates.
GPS POSITION: 32° 36′ 7″ S (-32° 36.11568′), 26° 55′ 22″ E (26° 55.37388′).
Cost: There is a small entrance fee payable but it’s best to enquire the exact amount directly with Diana Graham.