Stone Horse/UI HÄB Land Art Hike

A short hike takes you to a lookout point with a unique view into the vast landscape and at a Land Art work of art.

A 100x150m galloping horse has been set in stone on the plains of Klein-Aus Vista Lodge in south-western Namibia in honour of Namibia’s century-old population of wild horses.

'/ui häb' means 'stone horse' in Nama - the language of the indigenous people of southern Namibia.

The Wild Horse is the third ‘earth drawing’ or ‘geoglyph’ that siblings Anni Snyman and PC Janse van Rensburg have created with their group of volunteers as part of the Site Specific Collective, a land art project that brings nature and art together in large scale. The Wild Horse has taken 3 years to materialize. It began as an idea in 2016 when Anni and PC first heard about Klein-Aus Vista Lodge near Aus and its owners, the Swiegers family, from a mutual friend, Linda De Jager owner of End Game Media.

The lodge is in the vicinity of the Namib wild horses that reside in the nearby Namib Naukluft Park. As a result of spotted hyena predation and severe drought, the wild horse population has dwindled in the three years that it took to plan and install the stone drawing. The population numbers decreased from 190 to a mere 74 horses. The Wild Horse geoglyph, as seen from above, appears to be galloping towards the crossroads, significant of the population’s uncertain future.

To draw the outline of the horse, initially old fence post (droppers) from the Klein-Aus Vista Farms was used to mark out the Wild Horse. The droppers were not visible enough from above and the alternative was to use the rocks on the old fence lines to draw the outline of the galloping horse. In June 2019, Anni, PC and their team did the final twitches on the horse and started to pack 4244 rocks on a continuous line reaching 1101 m in total. An estimate 18 tons of rocks were moved. This horse now gallops in stone, a graceful image of rewilding, freedom and - more importantly - hope for Namibia’s wild horses that are teetering on the brink of extinction.

Due to the vast size the Wild Horse geoglyph, one is not able to appreciate the distorted anamorphic drawing up close and thus can only be viewed from above. Visitors will have to climb the adjacent koppie on the lodge’s Vista Trail to achieve a different perspective as it becomes possible to see the horse, the crossroads, and the sunset all at once. Artist’s note on the Stone Horse geoglyph at Klein Aus Vista: Namibia’s wild horses are famous as a symbol of adaptation in a world where a remarkable resilience of spirit is required to navigate change. Yet the Stone Horse of Aus runs westwards towards a crossroads.

The predicament of the Wild Horses is one shared by us all. The pressures of climate change demand that we move geographically as well as conceptually in how we think about our companion species and our planet. Survival will require individual as well as collective, holistic action based on the understanding that ecosystems are interwoven - not separated (fenced) lists of endangered or thriving species. The paradigm shift that is required to change our habitual ways to that of adapting in rapidly changing circumstances is mirrored by the artwork

(Morning/afternoon, 1-2 hours)

Park fee N$ 50.00

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