There are three Eastern Cape artists in the final seven chosen nationally from a shortlist of 100 on a national art competition.
Port Elizabeth artists Aneesa Loonat and Zane Lange and Grahamstown’s Mosa Anita Kaiser saw their photography, sculpture and installations chosen for the 27th Sasol New Signatures (SNS) Art Competition.
Cecile Loedolf, art curator for Sasol and 2016 SNS judge, said she was “extremely impressed” with the variety this year.
“The use of different mediums and craftsmanship is extremely exciting. The artists are pushing all sorts of boundaries in their works and concepts,” she said. There had also been exciting digital submissions with artists breaking new ground with moving images.
The other finalists are: Matilda Engelblik of Pretoria; Paul Marais of Stellenbosch; Shaun James Francis of Johannesburg, and Zyma Amien of Cape Town.
SNS national chairman Pieter Binsbergen said, “We have seen a definite rise in the quality of artworks submitted in 2016, which is extremely encouraging.”
The competition introduced nationwide feedback sessions this year, where artists submitting entries could have their work critiqued, 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,” said 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.”