The Sasol New Signatures Art Competition emphasises the importance of art and the positive impact it has on our nation. This annual contest encourages local artists to strive for distinction and highlights the great talent present around the country. The prestigious event has been a part of our cultural scene for over 27 years, and this year, there was a marked move away from traditional mediums as entrants embraced more experimental options.
'It is very exciting to see how these boundaries are being pushed. 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,' says Sasol New Signatures National Chairperson Pieter Binsbergen.
A total of 100 artworks were shortlisted, and seven finalists from around South Africa have been selected. The winner will be announced on 7 September 2016, and will be awarded R100 000 and a solo exhibition, whilst second place receives R25 000. All 100 shortlisted artworks will be exhibited at the Pretoria Art Museum from 8 September to 9 October.
Here are the seven finalists - keep an eye on them as we'll most likely be seeing much more from them in future.
zyma amien: cape town
This Cape Town artist graduated as a medical technologist specialising in blood transfusions, but found that her political struggles could only be expressed through art. Zyma uses textiles to convey her views.
matilda engelblik: pretoria
Matilda uses fine thread, paper and pins to meticulously shape her creations.
shaun james francis: johannesburg
Shaun displays his abstract pieces through means of pixelated images. His use of black and white makes this piece ideal for the modern home.
mosa anita kaiser: grahamstown
Mosa is the only finalist using photography as her medium. Her bold use of a colour backdrop in this picture series makes her images striking, but it is her female reference that adds a story to her work.
zane wesley lange: port elizabeth
Zane is experimental in his vision through wood carvings. His textured work plays on different heights, creating a unique visual impact.
aneesa loonat: port elizabeth
Aneesa explores the use of glass and various forms that are moulded within the frame. By placing her work on a light box, the piece comes to life.
paul andries marais: stellenbosch
We love the collage of materials Paul uses to create his art. Texture and colour are what make his work visually interesting.
To find out the winner of this competition, keep an eye on the website sasolsignatures.co.za