national Arts Festival Banner

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


(Elizabeth Balcomb with her 2014 winner works from the Weighed Measured Series)

The Sasol New Signatures Arts competition serves to encourage greater creativity across age, gender and education, as well as to acknowledge the talent of our nation’s youth.

‘It is currently youth month and what better way to celebrate this month by focusing on the youth of South Africa who are in the arts industry. As South Africans, art plays an important role in the cultural fabric of our history and future,” say the organisers.

Young people in various industries such as Engineering, Science and Technology are often given a huge amount of exposure. However, aspiring artists are hardly recognized and embraced for their artistic talents. Sasol New Signatures Arts competition aims to combat this by providing a platform for young artists to not only showcase their art but to also get national recognition for their art pieces.
Elizabeth Jane Balcomb is a case in point. A self-taught artist, she has been a full-time sculptor for the past five years. She lives and sculpts at her studio-home in the mist-belt forest of Byrne Valley, KwaZulu-Natal.

She won last year’s Sasol New Signatures Arts competition for her works from The weighed and measured series, I am you and Survival, which are both sculptural pieces. She won R100,000 as well as a solo exhibition at the Pretoria Arts Museum.

Commenting on Balcomb’s work, the judges said: “The artist’s keen interest in nature conservation and a deep longing for wild places, led her to become interested in aspects and characteristics of therianthropic figures found in the iconography of San paintings. Animal-human figures symbolise animal characteristics found in the personalities of humans. Furthermore, these figures offer a window into the spiritual world regarding the realms of the living and the dead.”

For more information, visit or contact Nandi Hilliard from the Association of Arts Pretoria on 012 346 3100, 083 288 5117 or

For more information on Elizabeth Balcomb visit