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Pierneef may have chosen the old harbour site to please his patron, but by 1930, Hermanus was already a famous fishing paradise. This was largely due to the exploits of one Bill Selkirk, who, after a five and half hour battle from the rocks at Gearing’s Point, landed a 987kg shark:


Selkirk and shark


The London Illustrated News devoted a double page spread to this in 1928. The De Wets Huis Photo Museum has many other pics of fishermen and their “trophies”. But by today’s standards these examples of manly virtue may look like accomplices to a crime: We no longer subscribe to the idea of killing animals as “sport.” And there are hardly any fish to be had.


Giant Ray


Giant Ray and Boy . Watercolour 22 x 17cm .2009

J H Pierneef’s Station Panels are cornerstones of South African landscape painting. They were placed in the old Johannesburg Station as adverts to travel the country.

But did these alluring places ever really exist? And how have they changed?

Taking up the invitation to travel 80 years later, Carl Becker set off to find out.

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