Sun screens

CCAC #: 0462
Artwork title: Sun screens
Artist(s): Patrick Rorke
Lewis Levin
Contributor(s): Donovan Dymond
Year made: 2004
Artwork type: Sculpture or object
Medium: Engraved metal
Dimensions (mm): 300 x 450
Source: Commissioned by the Court's architectural committee as part of the building's construction
Year acquired: 2004
Installation type: Integrated artwork
Location area: On public display

During the construction of the Constitutional Court and work on the Constitution Hill precinct, Rorke interviewed ordinary people living in South Africa, many of them in the streets of adjacent Hillbrow. These conversations, mostly conducted in Sesotho, resulted in a visual oral history exercise: the answers were translated into sketches, and later engraved onto the screens, to be read like comic strips, yet remaining open to interpretation. Subjects were often asked about their childhood, their dreams for the future and what the new Constitution meant to them. Artist notes include some names of those interviewed, but most agreed to participate anonymously, and as such the Sunscreens became a collective understanding of the surrounding community’s relationship with the Constitutional Court. The panels, designed by Levin, were chemically treated to achieve varying colourations, and weighted at different positions to have the artwork sides remain visible. Triangular perforations reference African geometry, while the mobility encourages interaction like with early internet GIFs. The Sunscreens, installed along the Great African Steps, protect the artworks in the public gallery from the harsh sunlight. The work embodies the notion of a “people’s court” and the many individuals that contribute to a democracy.

CCAC 437816

Photographer: Staff
Photo copyright: CCT

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NOTE: The process of photographing artworks in the CCAC is underway - we are currently working to improve image quality and display on the CMS but have included internal reference photos for identification purposes in the interim.