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POOLE TO PAINT RIKHOTSO (article first published : 2004-11-28)

Tanya Poole, co-winner of the main award in the 2004 Brett Kebble Art Awards, is to paint a portrait in oils of Phillip Rikhotso, the artist with whom she shared top honours and R260,000.

According to an agreement between them, she will present him with the portrait, and he will reciprocate with one of his wood carvings. The portrait will be the first work Tanya does before settling down to preparing for a solo exhibition of her works around the middle of next year.

"I think it is entirely appropriate that the co-winners should have each other's works as permanent reminders of the occasion we shared," says Tanya.

If the judges had been able to decide between them, one would have received the R200,000 main award and the other one of the six R60,000 awards. Instead the judges added the two amounts together and awarded each of them R130,000.

"I loved Phillip's work before I knew that either of us would be an award winner," says Tanya. "On the night of the Awards, the first exhibit I saw when I walked into the exhibition was Phillip's carvings. ‘Heavens,' I thought, ‘these are incredible.' To be grabbed by the first thing you see at an exhibition is very rare.

"At about four o'clock the next morning, too excited to sleep, while still trying to digest the experience of being declared joint winner with Phillip of the top award, I realised that I had to do a portrait of him.

"If you look at his face, you see that in many ways he and his work are very similar. The way he is eccentric, self-contained but quirky. All of this is reflected in his work, which is also in a way a portrait of him, and I felt I had to do a portrait of him in relation to his work."




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