Constitution Hill understands that conversations about human rights, democracy and constitutionalism never cease. In an effort to facilitate these discussions, we not only host regular programmes and activities, but also open up temporary exhibition spaces to artists and historians interested in imparting new and inspired ideas. In this way, Constitution Hill remains relevant, offering its exhibitors the opportunity to engage creatively and critically with the site, and its visitors the opportunity to interpret these representations on a personal basis.
The temporary exhibitions, which make use of a variety of venues, complement the permanent exhibitions that can be found in the Old Fort, the Women's Jail and Number Four. These latter exhibitions offer insights into life in the prison and include the stories of high-profile inmates such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Barbara Hogan and Albertina Sisulu.
If you are interested in curating a temporary exhibit at Constitution Hill, we'd love to hear from you. Please prepare a proposal for submission to our exhibition selection committee.
Two Trusts work on the Constitution Hill precinct – the Constitution Hill Trust, which focuses on the Hill as a whole, and the Constitutional Court Trust (CCT), which is dedicated to the court alone. Whilst the two Trusts are proud to work together on carefully selected, specific projects, including the artworks project, they operate entirely independently and fund-raise separately. Specifically, the CCT cannot accept any contributions from local individuals or foundations or corporations. The CCT does not align itself with all of the projects and exhibitions the Hill Trust organises. Importantly, any artwork owned by the CCT on this app or at exhibitions on The Hill will always bear this logo –
The art on display at the Constitutional Court plays an essential role in explaining the function of the court to the visiting public.
Many of the works are powerful metaphors which make visually concrete the legal high stakes that are being debated in the court itself. It can often seem that the discourse in the chamber is abstract or even arcane. This can make the court appear removed from the public it serves, making it vulnerable to accusations of irrelevance, yet the court deals in everyday matters that affect all South Africans, and often visitors to the country.
The court’s beautiful envelope of art is a powerful and valuable public relations buttress, because it so eloquently proclaims what the court stands for.