Life in the Furnace - Oil-on-Canvas by Elena Bondar
Life in the Furnace

The Tubu women of Africa rise early and use their navigational skill to find a miniature well in the furnace of the sahara desert.

We can survive for weeks without food, but only days without water: it is the essential element of life. Yet many millions of us live in the “furnace”: Parched deserts around the world. The eternal quest for water brings huge challenges – and ingenious solutions – in the driest places on Earth.


Pixels: 21879 x 7150 pixels (447.6 MP).
Image Size: 60 x 19.5 inches (143 dpi).
Format: PDF (8.7 MB)
Price: €4.80

Behind the Canvas

Living Without Water: Tubu Traders: The Tubu people are desert travellers. Alone for weeks on end, every year Tubu women and children navigate the endless dunes of the Sahara, crossing the desert several times with their camels. They travel hundreds of kilometres across the desert to reach small towns which have markets so that they can trade their goods.
To spend long periods in this vast desert, the Tubu women must find water to survive. Foni and her 10 year old daughter Shede are in search of a water well in the middle of the desert, which is just one metre square in size. Foni knows how to navigate the desert without a map or a compass, a skill that she learnt from her ancestors. The Tubu women are able to follow the sand ridges to help work out in which direction they should go.
Inspired by the BBC’s Human Planet series, first broadcast in January 2011.

About Life in the Furnace

Downloadable large-format PDF image scanned from Elena’s original oil painting. This is a large PDF, ideally suited for printing on canvas. A 2.75 inch (7 cm) ‘Museum style’ white margin is added to each side of the picture to allow for stretching/mounting. After completing the payment process, you will immediately receive a download link for your picture.