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SASOL NEW SIGNATURES WINNERS (article first published : 2003-06-21)

The relevance of the Sasol New Signatures competition in the local art scene was once again demonstrated with more than 200 entries being received from emerging artists over the age of 18 throughout South Africa.

This year’s entries represent a broad spectrum of competencies, with works received from students and other artists who have received formal training as well as from highly creative individuals without any formal training.

The judges, Lucia Burger; Christo Doherty; Frieda Hatting; Dirkie Offringa; and Helen Weldrick were faced with a huge task to carefully evaluate each work, a process that resulted in more than half of the works being eliminated before the final round of judging. Works submitted for evaluation included paintings; sculpture; video; other multimedia and photography – an indication that young developing artists are in tune with trends in contemporary art. With the wealth of works on offer, it was ultimately not difficult for the judges to identify ten artworks of outstanding quality.

The winning work, Tshoko Barutsane, a compact and highly relevant multimedia installation by Talita van Tonder, typifies the quality of the entries. It addresses very pressing social issues in an original and interactive way. Van Tonder’s choice of materials and the surprise elements evoke strong appeal earning it pride of place on the exhibition.

Merit awards were made to works that give new perspectives to traditional genres such as the portrait Maya 1 by Haidee Nel and in Gina Waldman’s Miss Wong & Mona”. This was also apparent in the conceptual moving sculpture Cage 11(leg) by Emily Stainer; Bronwen Vaughn-Evans’ collage Untitled and in the video Subliminal messaging by Zander Blom.

Karin Skawran and Karel Nel were tasked with selecting this years “Judges’ Choice”, ultimately deciding on Bronwyn Hangers’ video Doomed to Extinction as their winner. This incisive video evokes the horror of ethnic cleansing that stalks late 20th and 21st century politics and culture, and reflects the trauma of local communities embroiled in national and global power-mongering with tragic consequences.

Sasol through its sponsorship of the Sasol New Signatures Competition has once again demonstrated its support of local artists and its commitment to visual arts in South Africa. The Sasol New Signatures 2003 exhibition can be seen at the Pretoria Art Museum until July 27.

More details from Pieter van Heerden or Nandi Hilliard on 012 346 3100.




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