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o v e r

b l a c k s a n d chris murphy


d ed i c a ted to

kar in

wit hout her i would not be in t his s pace

ch r is toph er j. photography 083 540 6131 orchard@wcaccess.co.za w: w ww.chri s topherj photo.com www.heri t agechroni cl esa.org c:

e:


n an anthology of landscape photographs, an experience of a time in a rural part of the world, the western

cape, south africa.

n after a life in cities a relocation to the vast, open vistas opened

my eyes to the myriad colours, tones, textures, shapes that all contribute to the agricultural environment.

n for agricultural it is. little of the endemic vegetation has

survived, and that which has is often under threat. so this is a record of the altered landscape , albeit often with surrounding mountains as remaining sentinels of an earlier epoch.

o v e r

b l a c k s a n d over ove rbe rg black swar tland sand s andveld

chris murphy


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n the groot winterhoek mountains near vier-en-twintig riviere

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n the groot winterhoek mountains near vier-en-twintig riviere

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n a storm approaches . . .


n . . . the mood deepens . . .

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n . . . lightning strikes . . .


n . . . at the heart, the intensity of the storm at its zenith

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n bales lie scattered after the harvest


n warmth resonates at the end of a blistering day in the swartland

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n a farm lies in the centre of the groot winterhoek wilderness area


n at bridgetown, a former crossing of the berg river, the blue sky is reflected in the placid waters

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n a chapel in the overberg, a dramatic setting in the spring canola

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n the southern ocean rushes to the shore at buffels bay


n a stream meanders across one of the valleys in the cederberg highlands

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n clouds and mist pervade this aspect of the northern swartland


n the road snakes into the cederberg, with the ranges unfurling to the horizon

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n sometimes the overwhelming characteristic of the swartland is a calm balance and serenity


n ceres mountain looms through the enveloping clouds

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n obiqua mountain peaks behind the swartland fields


n fire is an omnipresent threat towards the end of the wheat harvest

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n rolling hills in the overberg, sensuous, softly contoured shapes


n a rail line to nowhere; many of the local routes have been abandoned

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n rolling fields in the overberg near greyton, a road leads through


n the paardeberg, a multi-textured granite outcrop

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n ripe wheat envelops a structure


n dawn light picks out a building overlooking walker bay

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n although the majority of the cedar trees that gave their name to these mountains have long gone, there is still an inspirational aspect to the range


n near porterville, a forlorn, small dwelling occupies a field

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n a side of the karoo is snowfalls, especially in the vicinity of one of the colder parts of the country, sutherland


n skies can be dramatic and turbulent in the karoo, belying the small amount of rainfall prevalent in the area

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n space pervades this tanqua karoo landscape, redolent with a past indication of inhabitation


n during harvest time the daylight hours cannot delineate the working day, but a full moon arose and assisted

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n into the sunset, a storm threatening


n the rump of porseleinberg from the heights of kasteelberg

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n rays pour down onto the riebeeksrivier

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n the contrasting colours and textures of the swartland


n at the end of its journey the berg river at velddrif encompasses a large swathe of water and a small harbour

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n in the deep gloom a bakkie crests a hill


n cloud driven onto the eastern flank of kasteelberg rebounds

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n three dimensional clouds hang in the sandveld sunrise


n a misty tranquillity envelops langebaan lagoon; only a gull lands

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n a gloomy scenario descends on the way to mcgregor


n laaiplek sublime

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n low mist shrouds the lighthouse at cape columbine


n stark against a darkening sky, a wind pump and dammetjie stand proud

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n tumultuous spray cascades before a tower at the fish factory at lamberts bay


n a rainbow over the sandveld with its promise of gold

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n the harvest is complete


n peter gabriel’s red rain comes to mind with this sweeping shower across the sandveld vista

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n riebeeksrivier ‘pass’ is hardly one at all; the road crests the highest point


n textural patterns form in the late afternoon; the harvest is in

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n a track leads to kasteelberg . . .


n the piketberg with a westerly storm rolling in

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n in the southern overberg, colours and textures overwhelm


n as do the subdued hues near riversdale when snow and rain descend

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n turbines have come to dominate many rural landscapes, yet can introduce a visual factor in featureless vistas


n sheep trekking into the sunset, the turbines of little consequence

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n the swartland depicting the green side of its character


n the piketberg overlaid by a linear cloud formation

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n burning as a farming technique is part of the ritual of land preparation


n near moorreesburg, tracks in the ripening wheat

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n cottages huddle together before the elandskloof mountains


n a lone crop sprayer makes it way back to base after an intense day

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n winter snows blanket peaks in the tulbagh valley


n a reminder that the swartland is not far removed from the cape’s icon

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n a tree stands proud, highlighted against a black sky and lit canola fields


n a dark, black, impenetrable land

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n a tree glows in the late afternoon light on the paardeberg


n towering above webersburg near the town of stellenbosch

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n harvested wheat and ploughed land, post and pre-production


n sun rays cascade across the tulbagh valley and winterhoek mountains

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n during sultry days the turbines stand as testament to their reliance on wind


n and bask in the sun’s last rays

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over black sand  

A photographic anthology of the Overberg, Swartland (Black Land) and Sandveld regions of the Western Cape, South Africa

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