After lunch my good friend the artist Whitney Mcveigh drives me on a stomach churning buggy ride to the cave “it's whe-e-e-e-re the py-y-y-thon lives… strew-ew-ewn with por-or-or-cu-cu-pi-i-i-ne ne-e-e-eedles from its last meal.” She gargles “Be-e-au-ti-fu-u-l” I shout as the off road buggy traverses the velt. “yes” she screams “so-o-o-o pee-e-ac-ce-ce-e-ful…. Ju-u-st lo-o-ok at the vie-e-e-w”
And on the hilltop I see a herd of gigantic pylons charged and seemingly charging across South African velt in twos like veloceraptors. “here we are then” she says. There’s a gratified silence as the buggy chugs to a spluttering halt and for a moment I really am in Jurrasic park – the art years. “there” The cave looms towards us.
I bend to look inside and see the corrugated marks in the soil, its slithering exits and entrances to the cave. “Don’t go in” Whitney says. Every bit of me wants to but I realise the warning is for the pythons peace more than our safety. With all the daring of a ten year old I take some porcupine needles.
While fully charged with creating art and providing opportunities for artists such as Whitney to create the philanthropist who owns and has transformed this earth into NIROX – has landscape as his canvas earth his raw material – for his oils and sculpture – and nature his inspiration. The gardeners, cooks and cleaners are essentially his gallery assistants.
But there is something of the python in its lair swallowing the porcupine and the electricity pylons charging and charging across the landscape. Whitney hears lions roaring at night: The Pride of it all. The main house is meticulous and so is the studio and so is the land.