I arrived here on Thursday 6th at the invitation of Benji Liebmann, to do a residency at his amazing property in the Cradle of Humankind. Richard Long was here earlier in the year and Jem Finer before that. On the first day I went out on a landrover safari into the Cradle with a party of academics from Pretoria University. Here are some of the animals we saw.
Henry, the Rhino
Wildebeest or Gnu
Academics on Safari
The first animal to appear was Henry the lonely white rhino. Two of his mates were killed by lightning last year and one was shot by poachers who arrived in a helicopter. Apparently the Chinese are now wanting to buy ivory and rhino horn, and have the cash to pay.
Nirox is a vast stretch of land owned by several households which are strung out within the forest close to the river. Benji's stretch of land has been landscaped with lakes and doubles as a sculpture park for changing exhibitions. The rest of the land is wild velt. The perimeters are fenced and what used to be farm land is now a private game reserve and most indigenous species of animal have been reintroduced, except the larger carnivores. You can hear Lions roaring in the night but they are in the Lion and Rhino reserve next door! There is accomadion and studio space in an old farmhouse with a cottage next door. I am in the cottage and Jurgen Partenheimer, a minimalist artist working with a South African black poet, is in the main house.
On the first evening I was surprised to see a large and very much alive warthog grazing on the lawn behind the sculptures of warthog looking creatures.
Warthog on the lawn behind the sculptures!
Whoa! as I write this a collobus monkey has just wandered past the open door!
My first morning, early, one of the gardeners, Alpheous takes me on a wander round the grounds and then by golf cart out into the bush. There is game everywhere.
Then we head up one of the furthest hills. There is a terrible smell of burning and the cart conks out. So Alpheus calls for help, meanwhile I walk the rest of the way up the hill and there is what must be the Richard Long!
Close by is a very poisonous plant. Don't even think of touching it. The San used to poke there arrow heads into this plant and it is the poison which would have done for the animal.
This is a blog of ongoing projects starting with: 1) Antarctica -Dec. 2006 - February 2007 2) Work made from the experience 2008 3) Nevada Feb. - Oct. 2008
- ▼ October (6)