Bronwyn Lace and Marcus Neustetter

About Location

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Sutherland, South Africa

Sutherland is a magnificent and unique place in the world. The small town sits in the middle of South Africa’s Karoo desert. Like so much of the Karoo it is known for its ‘nothingness’. Its qualities of darkness and silence cannot be easily found elsewhere. Its vast stretches of untouched land and crystal skies allow for an observation and contemplation unknown to the artists before the project. These were the same qualities that attracted astrophysicists to the space some decades ago, as a result just 7km from the town lies the Southern African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), boasting amongst many others the Southern African Large Telescope, one of the most powerful telescopes in the world. Despite its beauty and its proximity to such a large international scientific project the community of Sutherland, numbering just over 4000 people, face the other side of isolation; unemployment and alcoholism plague large portions of this divided community.