Final judging has been completed for the 27th Sasol New Signatures Art Competition with 100 artworks being shortlisted from around South Africa with seven selected as finalists for 2016.
The finalists are: Aneesa Loonat (Port Elizabeth); Mosa Anita Kaiser (Grahamstown); Matilda Engelblik (Pretoria); Paul Marais (Stellenbosch); Shaun James Francis (Johannesburg); Zane Wesley Lange (Port Elizabeth) And Zyma Amien (Cape Town).
Sasol New Signatures National Chairperson Pieter Binsbergen said, “We have seen a definite rise in the quality of artworks submitted in 2016, which is extremely encouraging.”
In 2016, nationwide Feedback Sessions were introduced. These sessions allowed artists submitting entries to have their work critiqued which is a valuable addition for emerging artists.
“The feedback sessions have been extremely well received by all the artists. Sasol New Signatures is not just an art competition but it has also become an educational journey for these emerging artists. This facilitated learning platform included discussions around pricing and how to approach galleries to sell works. It will see the standard of works submitted continue to get better and better,” continued Binsbergen.
Themes noted in this year’s entries portrayed environmental issues as well as gender disparity.
“We have seen a move away from the more traditional mediums used in the artists works to experimental uses such as ceramics being reinvented in sculptural forms,” said Binsbergen.
“It is very exciting to see how these boundaries are being pushed and whatever the medium used, most of the entrants had something in common: they combined their materials with innovative ideas to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary,” he added.
There has also been a number of exciting digital submissions in 2016 from across many of the regions, which has seen artists breaking new ground and further harnessing the moving image.
“I am extremely impressed with the variety of submissions this year, many mapping the artists’ personal issues. The use of different mediums and craftsmanship is extremely exciting. The artists are pushing all sorts of boundaries in their works and concepts,” said Cecile Loedolf, Art Curator at for Sasol and 2016 Sasol New Signatures judge.
“The work submitted this year was very fresh and orginal. The ways in which the artists used the materials they worked with showed a greater awareness of the current trends. The standout pieces had strong concepts, craftsmanship and overall presentation which all worked hand in hand, transforming the works into something special. I am very encouraged about the future of art and artists in South Africa,” added Emma Willemse, artist and judge.
The winner of the Sasol New Signatures competition will be announced at a ceremony on 7th September 2016 after which the winning works will be displayed for a month at the Pretoria Art Museum. The winner will receive R 100 000 and a solo exhibition at next year’s event, with the runner up winning R25 000. The five merit award winners will each receive R10 000.
Last year’s Sasol New Signatures winner, Nelmarie du Preez will hold her solo exhibition entitled Loops of Relation …. a Continuation alongside the 2016 finalists.
All 100 shorlisted artworks will be exhibited at the Pretoria Art Museum from 8th September until 9th October 2016 and all artworks are available for sale.
“These artworks offer a great opportunity for art collectors to purchase excellent works at great prices and at the start of these artists’ careers, many of whom go on to do great things,” concluded Binsbergen.
A series of exhibition walkabouts and an interactive talks programme will take place during the month-long exhibition.
Pretoria Art Museum times and admission:
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00 (Closed on Mondays and Public Holidays)
Adults: R 22
Learners: R 5
Pretoria Art Museum
Corner Francis Baard (previously Schoeman) and Wessels St.