Constitutional Court Embroidery Project funded by DEAT

Constitutional Court, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Concept, Design and Management of 18 hand Crafted and Embroidered Wall Panels for the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) wished to give a special gift to the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Leonard Shapiro was approached by the department to conceptualise, design and manage the making of 18 wall panels to fill specific wall spaces in the Constitutional Court Judge’s Conference Room and Entertainment area.

All of the provinces in South Africa had artworks in the Court building. As there were no art works from the Northern Cape represented, Khoi-San rock engravings were selected as appropriate images for the designs as they are the oldest art form of the Northern Cape, some engravings dating back 7 000 years.

Eighteen women embroiderers were selected to participate in this project. A workshop was held at the Constitutional Court where each of the women designed a panel using the San rock engraving images. They then embroidered the images that they had designed in the workshop onto cloth. Each piece of cloth panel measured 2meters x 1,5 meters.

These panels were installed in the Constitutional Court and a handover function was held where DEAT Minister Martinus van Schalkwyk presented the wall panels to the Court as a gift.

For more pictures of the process, inspiration and the results: click here.