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Art and Justice: The Art of the Constitutional Court of South Africa


This magnificent new book, launched in October 2008, celebrates and documents the artworks integrated into and collected for the Constitutional Court of South Africa. The book pays tribute to the extraordinary vision of the architects and judges of the Court who sought to bring together, in the most inspiring, innovative and dignified way possible, art and the workings of justice, and to give a public soul to the new Court building. Working closely with the Constitutional Court Artworks Committee headed by Justices Yvonne Mokgoro and Albie Sachs, David Krut Publishing has prepared the book as a companion volume to Light on a Hill: Building the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Art and Justice: The Art of the Constitutional Court of South Africa is designed by Ellen Papciak-Rose and features photography by Ben Law-Viljoen.

Essential to the original design of the Constitutional Court by the Durban-based omm design workshop and their Johannesburg partner Urban Solutions, was the integration of art and architecture into the most important building of the new South Africa. To realise this aim, the architects sought designs from artists for elements of the building such as lights, security gates and sun screens. The architects also commissioned artists and craft collectives to design and make furnishings for the Court. The result of these important collaborations can be seen in the colour, vibrancy, warmth, and humanity of the building.

The inclusion of artwork in the structural and functional elements of the Court is enhanced by a growing collection of art on view to the public. The Constitutional Court collection started – with very few resources – before the Court moved into its current home and has taken shape around several key works by artists such as Dumile Feni, John Baloyi, William Kentridge, Judith Mason, Gerard Sekoto, Marlene Dumas, and others. The collection is noted for its exploration of figuration in contemporary South African art, a theme that is well adapted to the values that the Court seeks to uphold in its mandate to hear matters relating to human rights and the Constitution.

Art and Justice: The Art of the Constitutional Court of South Africa will serve as a record of the Court’s growing collection of paintings, prints, fibre art and sculptures, but more importantly it will pay tribute to an extraordinary vision: to bring together art and justice in a building that would welcome all citizens of the country.

Constitutional Court Art Collection website

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