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METAL 2006 WINNERS (article first published : 2006-06-17)

Popular product designer Carrol Boyes recently announced the winner for her METAL 2006 New Designer Search.

Aspiring product designers from across the country entered METAL 2006 by submitting a prototype inspired by this year's theme, FLAME. Again, Carrol Boyes has awarded a total of R90,000 in cash prizes, as well as the coveted opportunity to forge a career in product design with her help. The best two prototypes, as judged by her, will be developed, manufactured, distributed and marketed under her internationally successful brand: Carrol Boyes Functional Art.

Once again, Carrol Boyes affirms that she was highly impressed by the standard of entries submitted this year and feels confident that the next generation of artists will take the South African design industry to great heights. Due to the high quality of work, she chose five – and not three - winners for METAL 2006. The first place was awarded R50,000 (second R25,000 and third shared between three designers, each receiving R5,000).

“I felt compelled to recognise all five of these designers as winners for their creativity, production skills and design talent,” she explains. “All the works display the qualities of artistic maturity, aesthetic appeal, functionality and manufacturability that I was looking for.”

The five top designs were submitted by Phillip Oosthuizen, Albie Spangenberg, Alessandra Desole, Wenning Opperman and Johan du Toit.

Cape-based set designer Alessandra Desole entered a piece titled Dance by the Fireside which was influenced by the central role that fire plays in many African cultures. Stylised, dancing figures hold hands around the flame thereby containing it, but at the same time allowing its light to disperse. The work celebrates the energy that is provided by fire.

Albie Spangenberg, a previous winner from METAL 2005, was inspired by the fluidity and globular nature of mercury when producing his Quicksilver. The rounded, polished, interlocking domes not only have a mercurial appearance but also echo the visual representation of chemical formulae and chains.

Another Cape-based designer, Johann du Toit, incorporated elements of machined precision into his clean, simple design, Core and Vessel, which comprises weighty, metal orbs designed to be manufactured in polished aluminium.

Phillip Oosthuizen's Zig consists of a variable number of tessellating candle holders. By using a number of holders, the user creates a texture and pattern upon which the flame is displayed. A variety of shapes can be produced with these interlocking components allowing the user to interact with the artwork and creating a channel for self-expression.

Finally, student of industrial design Wenning Opperman designed a three-piece entry– an oil burner, a tealight candle holder and a stick candle holder entitled Engineered Art. Minimalist and severe, he describes his works as masculine with a distinctly engineered feel.

After careful and extended consideration, Carrol Boyes has announced that the overall winning METAL 2006 designer is Albie Spangenberg, with Phillip Oosthuizen coming a close second and Alessandra Desole, Wenning Oppermann and Johann du Toit sharing third place.

“Based on the quality of the designs I have chosen to manufacture, I look forward to working with the designers in producing and distributing their work,” she says. “The manufacturing process is long but satisfying, and I hope it will provide a learning opportunity for Albie and Phillip that will stand them in good stead in their future careers.”

Although METAL 2006 is far from over, with the travelling exhibition of all 26 finalists is still in process and can currently be seen at the Africa Art Gallery in Umhlanga.

More information on www.carrolboyes.co.za




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