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ARTISTS WORK AT TATE MODERN (article first published : 2002-01-5)

Two young KZN artists went to London at the beginning of December where they joined other artists from around the world, courtesy of the Unilever Foundation for Education and Development.

Zamokuhle Madi and Jandri Barnard are among the first prize winners of the Unilever International Arts Project. Their work was exhibited at the Tate Modern Gallery in London.

The competition was conducted as a pilot project in KZN last year and will be rolled out to the rest of the country this year. The theme of the competition was The Environment and learners from 20 countries in grades six to 11 were invited to enter.

Zamokuhle Madi (16) hails from Blaaubush, an informal settlement outside Newcastle. She was acknowledging for her innovative interpretation of the theme. She veered off the beaten path of conventional environmental subjects and instead portrayed the conservation message as it pertains to the preservation of traditional African values.

"By keeping up the tradition of Umemulo, which requires girls to remain pure until the age of 21, the number of people infected with AIDS will drop dramatically," says Zamokuhle. She argues that the people of Africa should devote as much energy to conserving their culture as their environment. "European people must learn from our traditions and African people must be reminded of these wonderful traditions.

Also from Newcastle is Jandri Barnard (17) whose multimedia work stresses that conservation is an individual effort. "This inspired me to create an artwork out of different materials (useful and scrap combined), to depict these different factors and the attitude of the individual." Her work depicts flowers growing out of chicken wire which she believes "gives hope that after the destruction of an environment, it can be saved by people working together".

Nicole Forbes, from Durban North, won the third prize of R3,000. Bonita Case, local spokesperson for the Unilever Foundation for Education and Development said the standard of entries from South Africa was particularly impressive.




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