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I’m leaving the volstruisdorpie for Graaf Reinet to check out the Pierneef Museum and the Valley of Desolation.  Its about 270 kms, which could take 3 hours, or maybe the whole day.  The road to Willowmore takes me through some wide open country with hills and aloes in bright sunlight.

No one else on the road….

ah...kudu country!

You go through the mountains at Buyspoort and you’re out of the Klein Karoo. As the landscape simplifies, the man-made mark on it seems more distinct. In Willowmore, a carefully put together but symbolically obscure piece:

draai of braai

But as I get into the Great Karoo I start to notice an array of enigmatic structures and curiosities that look like the interventions of a contemporary artist…

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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carlbecker.art@gmail.com

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