There is something surreal about the hours drive past the industrial car selling district of , past the shopping malls of Clearview and past the drive-thru Nandos and Macdonlads and into the countryside north west of Johannesburg then past rickety signs that say Gold Mine and finally to a sign that says Cradle Of Humankind and my destination NIROX.
I wait outside. If Saatchi were to build Jurassic park for art this would be it. The beautiful wooden gate draws itself back behind the smooth concrete walls tattooed with the word NIROX in silver mercurial Helvetica. My friend Whitney McVeigh who is artist in residence here is walking up the shale pathway avoiding the sprinklers that send rainbows all over the manicured grassland to greet me.
It’s a rainbow nation. “Isn’t it amazing” she says. And it is. It truly is. With fresh cool water in hand Whitney shows me the studio space by the river it’s where she sleeps too in the most Harpers and Queen bedroom: To die for. It’s a stones throw from the main house which reminds one of Relais & Chateaux. Pap and stew are laid out upon the table in the garden with a beautiful luxurious bowl of salad. I have never eaten better olives.