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Centenary Tapestry


An interesting feature of the library is the spacious feel of the ground floor due to the three-level high ceiling in the central area. The wall of the mezzanine level is now adorned by an eye-catching panelled tapestry which was commissioned by the University in commemoration of its centenary celebrations in 2008. The idea was to create a work of art that would portray the University and which could be left as a legacy for future generations.

This tapestry was designed and embroidered by rural community members of the Kaross™ embroidery initiative in the Limpopo province. This embroidery initiative was established in 1989 by Irma van Rooyen, a BA Fine Arts graduate of the University and a recipient of the TuksAlumni Laureate Award. The conceptualisation of the tapestry and the execution of the design was done by Irma van Rooyen in collaboration with designer Calvin Mahlaule. Once the design was finalised, 15 embroiderers were employed to create the 15 x 1.2 meter tapestry. The work was executed on separate pieces of material using approximately 10 kg of yarn. The individual pieces of material were later appliqued and combined in a continuous process of layering the embroidered images and reworking them until the full length artwork was created.

This work of art reflects the culture, creative spirit and 'voice' of its makers and is a joyous manifestation of colour and craftsmanship!

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