Our new tearoom: change is in the air!

Posted on January 01, 2018

If 2017 left us with one message, it was that it can, in no sense, be business as usual.

In our quest to become a 21st century library, there is no better place to start than with our biggest asset, the staff. For that reason, a project was launched to change the under-utilised tearoom, and soon the PSK, into a modern, multi-functional space that will, hopefully, enhance innovation and collaboration. According to a report Innovation spaces: the new design of work, published by Julie Wagner and Dan Watch (https://www.brookings.edu/research/innovation-spaces-the-new-design-of-work/ [2018-01-10]), successful innovation spaces prioritize flexibility and proactively provide opportunities for collaboration.

That is exactly what our dream for the new space is: that staff will use it for socializing as well as for work; that it will become a bedrock for new ideas; that it will become a place where we meet in groups or re-vitalise our energy on our own and where we engage and become richer human beings because of the diversity around us. This, however, can only happen by you using it, giving it an identity and taking ownership of it. This can only happen if it becomes “our space.”

According to the university web site (http://www.up.ac.za/museums-collections/article/56432/museums-collections-the-university-of-pretoria-art-collection [2018-01-10]) the UP Art Collection,  consists of 2760 paintings and graphics, 830 sculptures and 50 ceramic pieces,  representing 390 painters and graphic artists, 80 sculptors and 25 potters. Staff and students are fortunate to be exposed to such a vast and diverse collection of art in different media, as pieces are displayed in buildings spread over the University campuses. The Library is fortunate to house several of these art works.

The latest additions can be seen in the tearoom and consist of the following:

Justice Mukheli – The Surfer

From a series of three photographs called “Surfer Boy Nigeria”, so it is a portrait of a boy just finishing surfing. Justice describes himself and his work as follows: Justice Mukheli is a self-taught photographer and film maker that lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. He started his career in advertising. During this time, he and his two brothers formed the highly successful photography collective, "I See A Different You" a collective focused on conveying distinctly South African and African stories through a local lens. In his personal work, Justice focuses on telling familiar stories through compelling portraits. His work still strives to allow South Africa and Africa to tell its own stories. Although he works in digital and film photography his portraits have an almost classic, painterly feel where subject and narrative create a striking transcendent moment which he also carries over into his commercial and video work. 

Imre Snyman - Wizard of Oz

A final year work of the artist Imre Snyman combining the pop-art genre with classical writings showing advertising like soap and matches. She then goes further by taking the classical genre and combining it with the pop-up book for children, thereby creating a pop-up painting. 

Bettie Cilliers Barnard – Untitled Paris, 1981 & Monotype: Vertical and horizontal

From 1971 to 1981 Bettie Cilliers Barnard created several linocut prints whilst visiting the studio of Jean-Paul Pons in Paris on different occasions. These works started as a set of works looking at the melting pot of metal and mining and was completed in May of 1981. 

Rikus Feirrera - British Industry

These two small lithographs on library pages were a gift to the South African National Association for the Visual Arts after the artist had been sent to Paris to further his art in that city by working and exhibiting a first solo show.

- Author Hilda Kriel

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