Stalking Cheetah

Dylan Lewis's large cat sculptures began as a direct and literal, visceral response to the wild animal within its natural environment. Coming from a background that included frequent trips into wilderness areas, there was no metaphor at the time more capable of evoking the untamed freedom he experienced while being in the wilderness than the predator in whose habitat he found a sense of spiritual home and ease. In addition, he was concerned with capturing in his sculptures the literal aspects of uncensored physical attitudes and movements manifest in the wild beasts' bodies as they stretched, walked, groomed themselves, leapt, hunted, and relaxed. He was fascinated by the raw and totally intact instinct behind these physical expressions, seeing them as symbolic and archetypal bodily responses, the most extreme manifestations of intrinsic animal being. (Interestingly, Lewis sees the different feline predators as embodying specific and distinct qualities, and to him, the cheetah, with its long-limbed form, represents a combination of elegance and menace.) Here, Lewis has sculpted that moment when the predator sees its prey and has captured the cat’s lethal intensity.

Theological Seminary

The Theological Seminary is built on the site where then Commander of the Cape Colony Simon van der Stel first set up camp on 7 November 1679. The site was then an island in the Eerste River, and Van der Stel chose it in order to put some distance between his party and their livestock, and the many wild animals roaming the area. The Seminary is built on the foundations of the old Drostdy building that was completed in 1687, the first administrative building in the town where the landdrost lived and where stood the first court house which burnt down in 1710 along with almost all of the town's buildings. (The island disappeared around 1770, when the river filled up.) The Theological Seminary of the Dutch Reformed Church was inaugurated in 1858, introducing higher education to Stellenbosch. In 1868 it was changed to a double-storey, the existing facade was added in 1905, and the lattice work and iron pillars date back to 1952. The students of Stellenbosch University refer to it as “the Angel Factory”, as church ministers are trained here. Of interest is the tallest Norforlk Island Pine in South Africa, planted in 1826 by the wife of the last landdrost.