Young, emerging or upcoming artists often have difficulty getting a chance to expose their art to a bigger audience, or may struggle to enter the formal industry and this is what a national competition aims to change.
Entries are now officially open for the annual Sasol New Signatures Art Competition 2021.
Being the longest-running competition of its kind in South Africa, Sasol New Signatures has become a platform for unknown artists to break into the mainstream art stage. Sasol has sponsored the art competition for over 30 years and has launched the careers of many household names in art currently working in South Africa and globally.
Chairperson Sasol New Signatures, Pfunzo Sidogi said: “The Sasol New Signatures Art Competition is not just another art competition – it is an enabler for emerging artists to not only expand the possibilities of art but also to inspire innovation and change.”
This annual competition is open to all South African artists over 18 years who have not yet held a solo exhibition. Artists who have held a solo exhibition for academic purposes (a Master’s degree exhibition) are allowed to enter. Artists can submit up to two artworks in all artistic mediums, including photography, performance art, video and installations.
“With the advent of Covid-19, there is a greater need for innovators and creators to shape the world anew and inspire change,” said Sidogi. “Taking on this challenge, the 2021 Sasol New Signatures Art Competition has created a space for eligible emerging artists to imagine, transgress, transcend, disrupt, and innovate through their creativity,” he added.
The ongoing sponsorship of this competition demonstrates Sasol’s commitment to discovering new artistic talent and promoting them to the art-loving public, said Nozipho Mbatha, senior manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol.
“The art of innovation is one of Sasol’s hallmarks, and the foundation upon which the business was built. It is who we are and have committed to being. For this reason, Sasol is proud to be a key sponsor, with Association of Arts Pretoria, of this important initiative that seeks to encourage South Africa’s creativity and contribute to our national heritage,” she said.
Sasol New Signatures is not only about art but also education.
Since 2001, the competition has hosted information sessions for potential entrants. These detailed sessions give entrants much-needed technical information regarding format, size, media and layout of entered works as well as valuable advice regarding the presentation of competition standard work.
This year, due to Covid-19, the information session will be hosted online and will go live on Monday June 7, on numerous virtual platforms and will be available for viewing on an ongoing basis until final artwork submissions. All the necessary information can be found on the Sasol Signatures website.
Contemporary, innovative and emerging artists with winning aspirations are invited to submit their artworks at one of several collection points around the country between Tuesday, September 7, and Wednesday, September 8, from 10am to 4pm.
The winner of the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition will be announced on Wednesday November 10. The winner will receive R100 000 and a solo exhibition at next year’s exhibition. The winning works will also be displayed at the Pretoria Art Museum from Thursday, November 11 2021 to Sunday January 9, 2022. The runner-up will receive R25 000 and the five merit award winners will each walk away with R10 000.
The 2019 Sasol New Signatures winner, Patrick Rulore, will hold his first solo exhibition within the official Sasol New Signatures 2021 exhibition. The exhibition is titled Life in Darkness. Rulore said of his work: “I am fascinated by the human figure, and in my paintings, I attempt to capture some of the complexity of the body and the enigmatic power which human beings possess. This series explores human connection against the backdrop of an ephemeral world of light and shadow. Working on a large scale is crucial to my creative process”.
The collection point for entrants artworks’ in Cape Town is: Art B Gallery, Library Centre, Carl van Aswegen Street, Bellville, Cape Town.
For more information on the competition, information sessions and drop-off points, log on to www.sasolsignatures.co.za or contact Nandi Hilliard from the Association of Arts Pretoria on 012 346 3100, 083 288 5117 or email@example.com