The scope of an artist’s influence is often equivalent to their willingness to challenge the limits of current thinking in artistic practices. In an industry where creativity and innovation are highly valued, the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition plays an instrumental role by encouraging emerging artists to adopt a limitless approach to contemporary art.
Shining the spotlight on South African artistic talent and creating opportunities to showcase undiscovered artists is the focus of the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition. Being the longest running competition of its kind in South Africa, Sasol New Signatures has over the years provided a platform for unknown artists to break into the mainstream. On winning the overall honour in 2017, Lebohang Kganye said: “I don’t know if anything prepares you for winning such a competition and for the aftermath of receiving an award like this. It is quite a surreal experience – almost like I was looking in from the outside. Actually it is pretty difficult to fully express.” Since winning the competition, Lebohang has had the opportunity to showcase her work at prestigious local and international events such as the Design Indaba.
Sasol’s name is synonymous with supporting the visual arts and this continuing sponsorship enables emerging artists the opportunity to start their careers. Sasol has been collecting artworks by home-grown talent since the early 1980s, and features an impressive corporate collection of art and sculpture. Art as a metaphor for life is a deeply embedded idea in the collective cultural consciousness.
Charlotte Mokoena, Sasol Executive Vice President: Corporate Affairs and Human Resources said: “Art is so powerful and makes an invaluable contribution to society by creating platforms for engagement within communities. Art has the potential to inspire, challenge and heal. The importance of corporate South Africa supporting the arts must remain on the agenda as art plays an important role for our country as a whole.”
Entries for the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition 2018 are now officially open. Held annually, in proud partnership with the Association of Arts Pretoria, this competition is open to all South African artists who are 18 years and older and have not yet held a solo exhibition. Artists can submit their artworks in all artistic mediums – painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, performance art, video and installations.
“The competition has been alive and running for close on half a century, not only becoming South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious art competition, but also developing criteria to judge the merits of art works, namely the artistic concept, the use of materials, the quality of craft and demonstrated skills,” said Pieter Van Heerden, Director of the Association of Arts Pretoria.
As part of the competition, Information Sessions will be held across the country from the end of April. The purpose of these sessions is to educate emerging artists on how they can produce and submit winning work, thereby contributing to improving the quality of entries every year.
Furthermore, there will also be National Feedback Sessions at various selection points countrywide. Artists who’ve submitted their works will have the opportunity to understand from the judges why certain entries were accepted and others not. The intention is to assist aspiring artists to grow and guide them on how they can further better their art.
Contemporary, innovative and emerging artists with winning aspirations are invited to submit their artworks at one of several collection points around the country between 10h00 and 16h00 on Monday, 2 July 2018 and Tuesday, 3 July 2018.
The final round of judging takes place at the Pretoria Art Museum on Wednesday, 8 August 2018. The winner of the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition will be announced on Wednesday 29 August 2018 at a gala event, after which the winning works will be displayed at the prestigious Pretoria Art Museum from Thursday, 30 August 2018 to Sunday, 7 October 2018. The winner will receive R100 000 and a solo exhibition at next year’s exhibition, with the runner up winning R25 000 and the five merit award winners receiving R10 000 each.
As part of her prize last year, Kganye will be presenting her solo exhibition this year. “As one of the longest running art competitions, I am grateful for the commitment Sasol has demonstrated to the careers of young artists by investing their expertise and resources. Plus the Sasol prize money is invaluable in assisting artists to further their careers.”
For more information on the competition, artists can visit www.sasolnewsignatures.co.za.
- Tuesday 17 April 2018 at 19h00: Whow Studios, Cape Town
- Wednesday 18 April 2018 at 12h00: Durban University of Technology
- Thursday 19 April 2018 at 11h00: Walter Sisulu University, East London
- Monday 7 May 2018 at 12h00: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein
- Tuesday 8 May 2018 at 11h40: University of Pretoria
Wednesday 9 May 2018 at 10h00: Artist Proof Studios, Johannesburg