A Stellenbosch artist, Jessica Kapp, has won the coveted Sasol New Signatures award for her rammed earth columns and embedded object installation piece titled Mapping Time.
The artwork investigates whether fine art can evoke multisensory experiences of home through the use of retrieved objects and materials.
These objects have value both because of the site from which they were taken as well as their intrinsic value as traces of dwelling – reconstructing fragments of retrieved objects and materials in an attempt to illustrate concepts such as loss, trace, place attachment and reflection.
Being a collector of things, the action of retrieval as well as the histories attached to found objects are central themes in Jessica’s investigations into home, following the event of the Knysna fires in 2017.
Jessica is currently completing her undergraduate degree in Fine Art at Stellenbosch University.
Through various print making techniques, photography, sculpture and installation, Jessica strives to create immersive moments in which viewers can experience the essence of a place through their multiple senses.
Jessica walks away with a cash prize of R100 000, and a solo exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum in 2019, which will mark Sasol’s 30th year sponsoring South Africa’s longest running art competition.
Artist, judge and Sasol New Signatures chairperson, Professor Pieter Binsbergen, said: “Regarding the pressing issues of land, including pre/post, and de-colonial struggles, the work’s ability to ambiguously navigate through and around these sensitive issues makes it worthy of being the winning artwork.”
Megan Serfontein, also a University of Stellenbosch student, won a merit award for her installation Untitled.