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BRETT KEBBLE WINNERS (article first published : 2003-10-18)

The Brett Kebble Art Awards were launched in May this year and artists resident in South Africa over the age of 21 were invited to submit works in the categories of Sculpture, Painting & Mixed Media, Craft, Printmaking, Photography and New Media. Over 1600 submissions were received from artists around the country. 167 artworks were subsequently selected for exhibition in Cape Town.

The winners in the craft and sculpture category of the new Brett Kebble art award competition are both from rural KZN.

Sculptor Josephine Ghesa, from the internationally renowned Ardmore Studios near Mooi River, was one of the few artists to have had two pieces accepted for the final exhibition – an honour she shares with fellow award winner, Abrie Fourie. Her Man Eaten by Fish was awarded the R30,000 Brett Kebble Art Award for sculpture.

The award for craft was scooped by Lobolile Ximba, a traditional craftswoman from Msinga with her poignant Beaded Crucifix – Women who are crucified to Aids. The tragedy of HIV/AIDS has had a massive impact on the lives of people in KZN. Ximba’s poignant piece captures both the horror and heroism associated with a crucifixion. Linking the Zulu tradition of beadwork to the spiritual hope of Christianity, it is significant in its basic cloth construction reflecting the very fabric of present day KZN society.

The overall winner of the competition is brilliant young Cape Town artist Doreen Southwood (29). The first recipient of South Africa’s largest art prize, she received R100,000 for her bronze painted sculpture called The Swimmer.

In the printmaking category, a linocut titled Moonstruck by Johannesburg artist Dikgwele Molete took the honours. Molete pulled the winning piece from the burnt-out wreckage of the Artists Proof Studio in Newtown, Johannesburg after it burnt down last year. Tragically, Nhlanhla Xaba - Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year in 1998, died in the blaze.

The 167 artworks which made up the final exhibition represented a cross section of South African artistic diversity, with the finalists ranging from unknown and self-trained artists such as Jabu Mnguni from rural KZN to well-established artists like Norman Catherine and Colbert Mashile. Mediums range from the classic to the bizarre, with materials as uncanny as Astroturf, latex, salt, sequins and chopsticks making appearances.

The Brett Kebble Art Awards is a new initiative from entrepreneur Brett Kebble to honour and encourage South African artists.

The works accepted for the exhibition, including the eventual winners, can be found at www.bkaa.co.za

More information on the award from Marulelo Communications for the Brett Kebble Art Awards on 021 462 3129.




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