Emerging Artists Celebrated at the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition Awards

Recognised as the longest running national art competition in South Africa, the annual competition offers an opportunity for emerging artists to build their profile in the industry.

Each year, the competition raises the bar, and this year notable improvements were seen from the works submitted. Close to 450 entries were received and 97 were shortlisted for final judging, increasing from last year’s 88.

Clinching the title, Dot Vermeulen’s piece titled, Desperately Disciplined depicts the mobile nature of images and how it fits into the contemporary visual culture. She received R60 000 and an opportunity to host a solo exhibition at the Pretoria Arts Museum next year.

According to the 2013 Sasol New Signatures Judges Report, her painting, juxtaposed by a digital screen, mounted on a stand in front of the painting, offers a quiet interplay between the digital world and the traditional canvas. The process of traditional painting is captured in the form of digital animation.

The runner-up, Jacques Andre du Toit, walked away with R20 000, for his winning piece titled KYK!  Ek skiet tennisballe waub .. waub waub waub .. waub w. The artist’s unique work is visual language in the form of crude drawings and ‘mind doodles’. These drawings are combined and traditionally mounted in a frame behind glass.

The five Merit Award winners were, Liberty Charlotte Battson, Theko Boshomane, Haroon Gunn-Salie & Alfred Kamanga (a collaborative piece), Lindi Lombard and Karen Pretorius who each received R5 000.

“This year’s entries managed to showcase some of South Africa’s most innovative artists. I am proud to say that artists have continued to find new and fresh ways to convey their message. We’ve seen an improvement in the quality of work, with pieces that can comfortably compete on an international level,” said Peter Binsbergen, Chairman of Sasol New Signatures art competition’s judging panel.

Richard Hughes, Sasol Sponsorship Manager said the competition is an important event on Sasol’s calendar and represents the value that the corporate sector can play in taking the arts to broader society.

Sasol has over the years selectively purchased artworks from the Sasol New Signatures exhibition for its corporate art collection. The collection currently holds over 2000 pieces of work.

“We are extremely proud of all the winners. South Africa’s art industry has continued to evolve and grow and over the years, the Sasol New Signatures art competition has consistently demonstrated the immense talent that exists in our country,” said Hughes.

The Sasol New Signatures art competition exhibition takes place at the Pretoria Art Museum and is open to the public from 29 August to 13 October 2013. Also exhibiting during this period is Ingrid Bolton, the 2012 Sasol New Signatures winner.

For more information, contact the Association of Arts Pretoria on 012 346 3100.