Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kidsweek at Concourt

 I found an email in my blog inbox last week from the Director of the Constitutional Court Educational Programme, Paula Rainha - just in time to take up her invitation to come and sketch at the Constitutional Court with some children from Hillbrow. It was the last day of their Kidsweek, a holiday programme (coincidentally started years ago by a friend, Monique Dalka) where they came to learn and draw some of the aspects of the court. This was a sketch of a group of the kids who were drawing portraits from a wall of photographs of past and present judges.

They first went into the courtroom, to ask and hear about human rights, our constitution and the history and significance of the buildings. Constitutional Hill used to be the notorious Old Fort Prison Complex where many political activists, including Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Walter Sisulu were detained. Every detail of the court has been thoughtfully and beautifully designed by architects and artists. Two whole books have been published on the buildings and art here: A Light on the Hill and Art and Justice, I won't try and explain it all here...

...but for a start, the angled and mosaiced columns and wire leaf chandeliers in the foyer represent the tree under which African justice has traditionally taken place, transparent, participatory and accessible - which also appears in the Concourt logo. Long may its principles last...
Below is a sketch I did last year on a visit with a friend, of the outside entrance, with the long wooden doors carved by artists and Dumile Feni's 'History' sculpture. One of my very first, nervous urban sketches was done at a book launch here, back in 2008!


Sadami said...

Hi, Cathy,
Your post and work is always lovely and something humane. Thank you. Have a wonderful holiday season and happy, happy New Year!
Best wishes, Sadami

Paloma said...

They are beautiful Cathy, I am so happy you and your friend could make it on such short notice! You have to send me the name of her blog or her e-mail address so that I also see her work.

You can check photos of the day at I will put the kids drawings in our Flickr hopefully tonight, I'll send the address.

I'll share this widely, with the kids, the foundation, the court and colleagues.

Have a lovely Christmas and may we be able to do more things together in 2013!



Cathy Gatland said...

Thank you Sadami, and the very same to you - best wishes of the season!

Hi Paula - thank you so much for inviting us, it was lovely to meet you, the student volunteers and the children. Definitely hope to do more next year!
Happy Christmas!

RH Carpenter said...

These are wonderful sketches! Thanks for sharing a bit more of the history with us:)

Unknown said...

I'm always in awe of how much detail and scenery you capture yet keep the movement of the people. These courst scenes are amazing.

Happy Christmas. said...

Wonderful sketches and thank you for telling us about the buildings too.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

joy said...

Hi Cathy, I love your images! I see you are the contact usk in S. Africa - I'm wondering if there's anyone in Lilongwe. I'll be there for two months, would love to connect with USKers!


Cathy Gatland said...

Joy, I don't know of any sketchers in Lilongwe (never been there!) but I'm sure if you start drawing around town you'll make lots of friends very quickly!