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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

JUSTIN FISKE (article first published : 2008-03-16)

Kinetic sculptor, Justin Fiske, is the people’s choice for the 7th and final Spier Contemporary award. His 14 – kundalini is a suspension of pebbles that describes a complex fluid motion of counter-rotating helixes. The work speaks to the Hindu concept of “Kundalini”, a serpent energy or coiled energy. Justin Fiske has spent the last three years solving the problem of how to build the mechanism to allow his stones to express the purest forms of motion.

Over 13,000 visitors to the inaugural Spier Contemporary exhibition on the Spier Estate were invited to nominate their favourite art-work out of the 120 works on display. Six of these art-works were selected for the awards worth R700,000 by a panel of judges in December last year. Now Justin Fiske has joined the select grouping with this rare honour among artists – that of being voted for unconditionally by members of the general public.

Curator of the Spier Contemporary, Clive van den Berg, is happy with the People’s Choice: “I think it’s great that democracy has produced such a result - and rewarded this good, hard-working but unrecognised artist. The choice is also interesting because he is working in a way that is so outside of the narrative of South African art. In short, I think it’s fantastic. I am delighted that he will be rewarded.”

The People’s Choice Award is bound to attract special attention from the art world at the unveiling of the exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery on March 15.

Justin Fiske will share in the prize money that will be used by the award-winners for studies, a residency programme or other form which promotes or progresses their careers.

The Spier Contemporary will be at the Johannesburg Art Gallery until May 31 and the final leg of the tour will be at the Durban Art Gallery from August 15 to November 1. For more information, see www.africacentre.net




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