Ouroboros, an installation created by the Botswana-born artist Bronwyn Lace, can be found just beyond the Conference Centre. Lace often uses found, recycled and repurposed elements to create site-specific installations and sculptures.
Ouroboros is the ancient Egyptian symbol of the serpent eating its own tail. For her artwork, Lace used a donated skeleton of a rhinoceros killed some years ago during a lightning storm in the Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng. Through a process of dismantling the bones and reconfiguring them (using steel and steel cable), she has created a newly articulated skeleton – an artwork that embodies ancient symbolic meaning – eternity, infinity and rebirth which stands in stark contrast to what we are currently witnessing in relation to the rhinoceros, an animal soon to find itself on the extinction list.
The rhino has found her final resting place at Spier. At midday the shadow cast strongly resembles the snake – and, as snakes shed their skin through sloughing, they are symbols of rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing.