A symmetrical scene with a fairly uncommon square building, used to store farm equipment and possible animals, sits on a top of a gentle hill, shielded by a huge tree and overlooking the Karoo. Donna was drawn here to the shadow cast by the stairway that juts out from the building and invites one to wonder about the enterprise and labour undertaken in its folds.
#699 Central Karoo
70 x 70 cm
Oil on Canvas
About the Karoo
The Karoo is a semi-desert of South Africa. The Karoo is partly defined by its landscape, geology, and climate — above all, its low rainfall, arid air, cloudless skies, and extremes of heat and cold. The Karoo also hosted a well-preserved eco-system which is now represented by many fossils.
The Karoo formed an almost solid barrier to the interior from Cape Town, and the early explorers and hunters on the way to the Highveld denounced it as a fearsome place of great heat, great frosts, great floods and great droughts. Today it is still a place of great heat and frosts, and an yearly rainfall of between 50–250 mm, though on some of the mountains it can be 250–500 mm higher than on the plains. However, underground water is found throughout the Karoo, which can be tapped by boreholes, making sheep farming possible.