Unique University of Pretoria art project links up with social responsiblilty
Posted on 29 September 2008
Students form the image of the Centenary Rose
The centenary celebrations of the University of Pretoria were energised by ideas and experiences in performance art, community art and land art.
By creating a gigantic artwork on Friday, 26 September 2008, the students of the University of Pretoria did not only participate in a collaborative work of art but also contribute to social responsibility in this landmark year.
The project, entitled Centenary Rose, attempted to imbue daily life with meaning and significance through the creation of an artwork. The artwork was created when the students from the University’s Visual Arts Department invited everyone to view the unfurling of the centenary rose in the form of a huge painting. The painting is exhibited on the lawn in front of the OldArtsBuilding, Hatfield Campus of the University.
For this project, the rose, that was specially cultivated to mark the centenary year of the University, is used as a motif in a pixilated format for the artwork. Students painted an image of the rose consisting of 3 800 boxes measuring 50x50cm. Each box represents a pixel. Earlier this month the boxes were distributed amongst staff and students of the University of Pretoria with the request to fill them with non-perishable food items.
Elaborating on the art project, Prof Margaret Slabbert, Head of Fine Arts at UP says, “ With this project, the art-making process is redefined in terms of different activities, attitudes and roles than those that operated under aesthetics of modernism. The project involves students and staff on the campus who wish to communicate and interact with a broad diversified audience by contributing food products towards alleviating poverty in the immediate community.”
According to project manager, Talita Swarts, about 191 liters of paint was used to paint the 50x50cm cardboard cake boxes. It took 16 hours to number the colours of the pixel image and it will take four hundred students under the guidance of teaching assistant, Louise Kritzinger, eleven hours a day for six days to meticulously match each colour to the colour chart.
The art work is created like a mosaic design. A grid using 2112m string and 128 nails is layed out on the lawn. Four boxes are fitted into every square of the grid. On completion the art work will measure 31 x 31m or 961sqm .
After the work has been created the painted boxes filled with food will be distributed by the rag committee amongst the Mmakaunyane community in the Winterveld on 9 October.
Click on the image below or here for a special video of the event: