Climate Train to COP17 Johannesburg to Durban

When paths cross, we focus intention and empower 
each other's destiny.

I joined the Climate Train in JHB at Nasrec Station, Sponsored by South Africa's environmental Affairs, Indala Yetho, COP17, National Lottery, British Council, this is most certainly not the gravy train. Saving Tomorrow Today is the challenge, and a never-ending one at that. Saving the world from ourselves is the inconvenient truth that I have found in my observations. But here we are, armed with spades of progress and lashings of spicy creativity to spread awareness and hopefully keep green giant fed. 

This has been my first introduction to the train team and the various workshops and activities planned for the next week down to Durban for the Big Meet. I have felt inspired to be involved with the movement, as I really want to see how effective this amount of energy and resources can be in delivering something more than a quick fix. I wish for something deeper, something that genuinely touches people and empowers them to change their inner climate of love for the earth.

Breaking new ground is a daily affair, 
more hands, more spades, more eyes to feed.

Resilience is a thin blade that cuts slowly.

Reflections of a paradise paved reveal a fractured paradox

Blue is the new green

Xolani - 35years old -
(group canvas workshop)

Explanation: The House on the left has a dustbin outside, this is to demonstrate that we must recycle at source. The book on the right is show how education and studies are important to learn about climate change. The heart in the centre is for passion and the tree growing out of it is showing re-growth and regeneration. The AK47 is to shoot anyone who doesn't listen. 

The Train was a fully equipped and modified premier class mobile unit. Artists, project mangers and group facilitators all worked to mange the public interaction and educational objectives of the major co-ordinator, Indhalo Yethu, the SA greening agency.

This is the exhibition and cinema carriage.

One of the many school groups that came to visit and learn about the climate train.

The renewable technologies showcase carriage 

My contribution to the journey is very open in its deliverables, this I have done with intention as to not limit my abilities and boundaries to tightly. I will create with "found materials" And as this is really about our relationship with the earth and its resources I felt that this was a good place to start. Mud.

People always seem to be waiting, waiting for something to arrive or end. Anticipation of disaster and the ability to think ahead has been a key facet to our progress and success of harnessing the elements.

I love the way the earth changes the colour of my hands, 
I am no race, I am human, I am earth again.

We are the Earth...

Earth Child - Earth and Water - 50cm x 30cm x 20cm

Earth Child with fellow artists, ambushers and the MEC of Gauteng of Environment and Agriculture and Rural Development, Nandi Nayathula - Khoza...

Earth Child - return to earth... as the days go by...

I decided to return Earthchild back to the ground, after a a 600km journey with the climate train, I carried the fractured remains to a park outside the convention centre and buried it under a great green fever tree. Here it can once agin give the soil new life and vitality.

The journey has brought many people together, here are some provincial delegates participating in a group canvas project, making their individual commitment to sustainability and a better environment for all. 


Damaged earth
A promise broken
Wounded pride
Nothing left to hide
the impossible 

Blood stone - Stone, Earth and Water - 50cm x 30cm x 30cm


The process is always more rewarding than the result. Engaging with the art of creation on a constant basis gives one a very different view of the world, "paint" and "canvas" are open for interpretation, the boundaries of these elements need to be constantly redefined. With my experience I have learnt the benefit of limitation. Time and materials available create the "rules"which I must work with to realize a vision of the finished result. Too many options can be overwhelming and dilute the message inherent in the works emotion.

With the work demonstrated below, I have extended the concept of natural materials and used broken shards of tile from a pile of building rubble to represent the eternal tension of creation and destruction. The skull icon brings us closer to realizing our own mortality and the lifespan of that which we create. The degeneration of our environment a mirror of our compulsive need for development.

Simon Max Bannister, Fractured Reality, 3m x 3m, 
Earth and broken Tiles, 2011


A crack in the shield, winds like the river, holding the moisture of new beginnings, 
holding the valleys of change, carving the ancient fragments 
of the relentless rift. 


Dangerous divides, Blood on the tracks, a land cut this way and that,
these lines of steel move mountains.

Red Earth

What's yours is mine, what's mined is gone, up in smoke, for all of time



Within the memory of me,
trickles of tears,
hopes of our streams,
unite tomorrows rivers,
touching the ocean
a tide of transformation

A collaborative of words by Mbali Vilakazi and Max

Amanzi - 25000mm x 500mm

Hand to Earth & Earth to Water - Red Earth on steel - 1400mm x 800mm

Earth Wounded - Red Earth on Tarmac - 800mm x 25mm


This installation was done guerilla style at the entrance to the climate change Conference of Parties in Durban. The ice block was allowed to melt in the beating sun, creating a large pool of water for the delegates to walk through. Simply suggesting the tenuous situation of the melting ice caps, this piece once again reminded the representatives of the urgency of their debates and related actions.

Polarity- Ice - 45cm x 45cm