The five winners from the 2017 Phatshoane Henney New Breed Art Competition are set to make the Free State art scene come alive this July as they exhibit some of the most compelling visual art from the province.
Showcased in Gallery on Leviseur as part of the Vrystaat Arts Festival, the Phatshoane Henney New Breed Winners Group Exhibition is sure to challenge any conservative notion of what Free State art is, simply due to the broad variety of compelling works on show.
Mandi-Anne Bezuidenhout, 2017’s overall competition winner, will no doubt fascinate with her showcasing of 18th century Camera/Chamber Obscura devices which portray the eternal environment within the interior of the gallery, as well as other photographic works, while André Rose, runner-up, applies photography and painting to explore how urbanisation and city living shapes, layers and moulds our humanity.
David Molapisi, one of two Merit Award winners, is showcasing several wooden sculptures carved out of sleeper-, chinaberry- and wild olive tree wood. Louis Krüger, the second Merit Award winner, is exhibiting digital photo montages that explore landscapes through movement while Jessica Hansen, the 2017 Public Choice Award winner, will exhibit ceramic sculptures made by hand, depicting children and the different environments in which they grow up in.
This exhibition is part of the offering of the Phatshoane Henney New Breed Art Competition, which – now in its third year – is presented by Phatshoane Henney Attorneys in association with Oliewenhuis Art Museum. This one-of-a-kind visual arts competition is specifically aimed at discovering and advancing the careers of new and emerging Free State artists.
“The way in which the competition is constructed is purposely aimed at creating wide exposure for talented artists from the province, so as to attract as much attention as possible from the art fraternity and wider public and advance the careers of Free State artists,” says Sam Moleko, Director at Phatshoane Henney Attorneys and spokesperson for the competition.
After entering, the competition, an independent judging panel selects between 40 to 60 of the best works which are exhibited at Oliewenhuis Art Museum for a period of four to six weeks. These works are then also showcased on the official competition website, www.phinc.co.za/art, where the public can view the profiles and entries of these top artists, as well as a wider portfolio of their work. It is also via the competition website that the public can vote for their favourite artist, and so determine the winner of the Public Choice Award.
“It’s this integration of technology platforms with the competition that further distinguishes it from other art competitions in the country. By also enabling social media sharing, the online exhibition increases accessibility, public exposure and engagement – making art an experience for everyone,” remarks Moleko.
The prize money is R100,000 in total, with R50,000 being awarded to the overall winner, R20,000 to the runner-up, and R10,000 each to two Merit Award winners as well as to the Public Choice Award winner.
All competition winners, including Merit Award winners, automatically qualify for the Winners Group Exhibition which affords competition winners a further opportunity to showcase their work in a more dynamic group exhibition format. “In addition to the opportunity to showcase a broader body of their work, this exciting feature of the competition also offers mentorship, preparation and curation support to the winners,’ adds Moleko.
The exhibition opens on the evening of the 6th of July and will run until the 22nd of July.