Cape Town - Cape Town - The Karoo makes up a massive chuck of SA’s hinterland.
Although this semi-arid wonderland that stretches more than 400 000 square metres across SA’s midriff seems barren at first glance, it is a fertile hub that sustains thousands of farmers and businesses.
That is why the people who live in the Karoo, and whose lives are directly affected by the government’s ruling to allow fracking in this part of the country, have come forward in protest - using art as a final form of retaliation against this practice.
Here are two critical art exhibitions about the Karoo you need to see before 2016:
Fear&Loss - The Industrial Karoo
In this exhibition, 104 artists from all over South Africa are showcasing their work in support of the Great Karoo.
Where: Jan Rupert Art Centre, 41 Middle Street, Graaff Reinet
When: Until April 2016
Karoo Modern: A Visual Dialogue
This inaugural exhibition of contemporary art will reflect and expand on the past, present and the future of the Karoo.
When: From 12 to 22 December
Three Karoo hubs that celebrate art right year round:
The Karoo Art Hotel
Here you can live in Karoo art. Recently rebranded, this is a little country hotel that showcases and celebrates Art in a big way. Every room in the hotel is individually decorated.
Aside from the eye-catching interiors and artworks, much of it for sale, the art of winemaking is celebrated with one of the best wine lists in South Africa.
If Karoo cuisine served in the studio restaurant of the hotel is one of Barrydale’s best, and has won the Klein Karoo Gourmand Restaurant Award.
Where: 30 Van Riebeeck Street, Barrydale
ALSO READ: Blissful Barrydale
ArtKaroo – Authentic Karoo fine art
ArtKaroo has evolved from being an exhibition space for only the artists of Oudtshoorn to a world-class establishment for artists and art-lovers. Through its change, it has remained as a hub of creativity for artists of the Karoo and as a physical and virtual exhibition space.
ArtKaroo hosts work of internationally acclaimed and established artists, to younger and emerging ones. Fine art, authentically expressed is the thread that runs through the work, with an avoidance of commercial repetition. Work not available elsewhere can often be viewed here.
Where: 54 Baron Van Reede Street, Oudtshoorn
Prince Albert Gallery and Gallery Café
This quaint gallery is a must-see in Prince Albert. It is highly recommended you book dinner in the art gallery to get the complete Karoo experience.
There’s something special about viewing an exhibition about the Karoo in the Karoo and then being able to eat wholesome Karoo food too.
The current exhibition is Marvellous World with artists Guy du Toit, Richard John Forbes, Sarel Petrus and Paul Cooper.
Where: 57 Church Street, Seven Arches, Prince Albert
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