Nicola Grobler The Visitor Centre II

Reason: Pending participant consent

Nicola Grobler The Visitor Centre II

posted on 09.09.2021, 13:42 by Nicola GroblerNicola Grobler

The Visitor Centre: artistic reconfigurations of multispecies relationships in an urban environment is an examination of relational art practice and conversation as tools to encourage empathy and care for nonhuman species in urban environments, here specifically performed in the City of Tshwane/Pretoria. Through creative practice, the argument is made that an alternative mode of experience and understanding can allow for more caring and empathetic relationships with nonhuman species. The relational artwork presented in this doctoral thesis consists of three prototypes, namely The Visitor Centre I, II and III that were devised as mobile hubs that forge connections between artist, audience and nonhuman species. The first two prototypes, The Visitor Centre I and II were presented in the City of Tshwane/Pretoria from 2016 to 2018, and the video documentation of these public interventions are available to view here.

The second prototype, The Visitor Centre II, was presented at nine public events in May and June 2018 at the Pretoria Art Museum (16, 19, 26 May, 8, 9, 13 and 23 June), the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History (14 June) and at the City of Tshwane’s Biodiversity Festival (22 May), held at Fountains Valley Resort. In The Visitor Centre II: 16 May-23 June 2018 a montage of video recordings of a selection of these events and audio recordings from all these events are presented as means to provide access to participants’ responses and the workings of The Visitor Centre II.


This work is based on research supported in part by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF)’s Unique Grant 84414, and by the School of the Arts: Visual Arts, the Faculty of Humanities and the Research Office at the University of Pretoria. Any opinion, finding and conclusion or recommendation expressed in this material is that of the author, and the NRF does not accept any liability in this regard.



University of Cape Town, Michaelis School of Fine Art