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Tuesday, May 12, 2015


It’s that time of the year again when esteemed artist and Sasol New Signatures art competition chairperson Pieter Binsbergen, embarks on a countrywide tour offering the country’s best emerging artists an opportunity to learn from the best.

Since 2001, the Sasol New Signatures art competition has hosted information sessions for potential entrants, with the aim of giving them the opportunity to gain much needed technical advice regarding format, size, media and layout of entered works.

“The New Signatures competition has set the standard for what is known to be international contemporary art. The information sessions offer a platform for entrants to understand the genre in which this competition falls, in order to remain internationally recognised as cutting edge,” explains Binsbergen.

‘This year’s competition theme is Eye for Potential. With this theme Sasol is challenging emerging South African artists to look beyond what the naked eye can see, to create memorable art works. Valuable advice is offered regarding the presentation of competition standard work. Prospective entrants are guided in advance regarding proposal and artist statement writing, which forms a crucial part of the entered work,” he adds

Since the inception of these information sessions, competition judges have sited an improvement in the quality of artworks entered. This can without a doubt be attributed to the mentorship opportunity presented in these sessions. Taking the form of an informal contemporary art workshop, artists have the chance to pose questions that arise in the conceptualisation process of their works to the chairperson and competition administrator. This has gone a long way toward fueling artist’s awareness of and for visual arts.

2014 merit award winner and first time competition entrant Bongani Khanyile remarked: “As a young artist wanting to enter into the art industry, you want to do everything you can to make your work unforgettable and impressive to the judging panel. Attending the information session gave me useful insight into the judges expectations and a better understanding what contemporary art is.”

For the convenience of the artists, information sessions are hosted at various learning and art institutions across the country, bringing them to the artist’s doorstep.

The KZN information session is open to the public, as well as art students and will be held in Durban on May 14 at 12h00 at the Durban University of Technology, Video Technology Lecture Theatre 2, Ground Floor, City Campus, Anton Lembede Street.

Space for these sessions is limited and interested artists are encouraged to book their seat with Nandi Hilliard on 012 346 3100 or 083 288 5117 or as soon as possible.