Slow down, Jo’burg

'Nothing but a Hound Dog’ by Jop Konnuke

‘Nothing but a Hound Dog’ by Jop Konnuke

Jozi people are many things.  We are kind.  We are friendly. We are certainly fashionable. We are always in a hurry.

We do not take kindly to anything slow.  We expect people to walk quickly on the sidewalks, traffic should flow smoothly and we go nuts when our supermarket queues are not fast.  We breathe quickly and we make a lot of hand gestures.

Until we get to Nirox.

45 minutes out of Johannesburg, in the Cradle of Humankind, the pace at Nirox changes immediately.  From the time you park, pretty badly, in a bumpy haphazard patch of grass, everything slows down.  The way you walk, the way you breathe, and the way you think.

Situated in a 15-hectare nature reserve, Nirox is a delicious lush expanse of greenery, with walkways, dams, gurgling rivers and most importantly Art.

Beautiful outdoor art – sculptures where you least expect to find them.

Huge painted wooden sculptures, mostly human, partly megaphone. A giant bull terrier.  Heads, lots of them, balancing on top of one another.  Steel structures, ambitious, exciting and stimulating sculptures.

It is the most magnificent place in which to slow down, wander, discover time, discover yourself, and discover art.

None of the exhibits are permanent.  They change fairly often, depending on the exhibition, depending on who the artists in residence are, and depending on the season.  They are always a surprise.  There are occasional Sculpture Fairs or Food and Wine Fairs, but mostly, Nirox is open, over a quiet weekend, with Jozi people wandering around quietly, still fashionably dressed and still friendly, but never hurriedly.

It’s an intriguing place, and one well worth going to.  Nirox is not always open though, so check their website.   And check directions.  Their entrance is well hidden, but we think that’s for a good reason.  To keep the intrigue.  To maintain the mystery. To make it magical.

Honey Drops by Liza Grobler

Honey Drops by Liza Grobler