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PRETORIA, 2019

“The archival record is a fragile thing, an enchanted thing… like all repositories of memory, it is an extraordinary creation of remembering, forgetting and imagining” – Verne Harris

Conceptualized as an abstract topography of both geography and time, the Mapungubwe Gold collection is silently narrated by light, shadow and reflection, and intimately displayed at the University of Pretoria’s Javett Art Centre. Despite the delicate, small scale of these intricately crafted gold artworks (dated between 1220-1290AD) they command a profound, almost hypnotic reverence. Comprised of the famous bowl, sceptre and rhino figurine, as well as an array of beads, necklaces and small foil fragments, the entire collection is contained within one single glass cabinet, measuring 1.4 x 2.8m, positioned in the centre of the darkened gallery. 

Curators: Dr Tian Siley-Nel & Christopher Till | Project Management: Parts & Labour | Lighting design: Pamboukian Lightdesign | Cabinetry: AE Designs | Glass Manufacture: StudioGlass