THK Gallery

We’re excited to announce the winner of the Emergence Art Prize 2020 – congratulations to Lerato Motaung! ✨⁠⁠

The Emergence Art Prize received 184 entries from talented artists working across disciplines and mediums, and we’d like to thank everyone that entered and supported the competition.

A special word of thanks to Rand Merchant Bank for their support and to our judges including Ashraf Jamal, Azu Nwagbogu, Carolynne Waterhouse and Bettina Nampé.

The prize includes an exhibition at THK Gallery in Cape Town, a two month residency at the innovative Quartier am Hafen Studio House on the banks of the Rhine in Cologne, Germany, in June and July 2021, and an R80 000 cash prize, a portion of which will go towards airfares and a stipend while the artist is in residence.

Lerato Motaung, Glorified Defention, 2019, Oil on canvas, 95 x 70 cm⁠

The winner of the competition, Lerato Motaung (b. 1991, Katlehong, Germiston) is a visual artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Following his training in drawing at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 2008, and in sculpture at the Katlehong Art Center in 2009, he received his Diploma in Fine Arts in 2015 from the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria.

For his primary means of expression, mixed media paintings, Motaung draws inspiration from his memories informed by his life experiences in three different environments: the metropolitan area of Johannesburg where he lives and works, the suburban ambiance of Katlehong township, and the rural North West Province where he grew up.⁠

Lerato Motaung, Day’s Eye, 2020, Oil on canvas, 120 x 85 cm⁠


Watch this space! Launching soon, an exhibition with the Emergence Art Prize winner, Lerato Motaung, and two runners-up, Pardon Mapondera and Lulama Mlambo!

Pardon Mapondera, Zenze, 2019, Plastic Straws, 228 x 128 cm

Congratulations to runner-up for the Emergence Art Prize, Pardon Mapondera! ✨  Born in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, Mapondera is a full-time artist currently living and working in Cape Town, South Africa.⁠

His medium of choice is found objects and materials. Through this spectrum of unpredictable paraphernalia, he is able to collect, contend with, and curate already existing histories, stories, continuing politics embedded in this debris of a consumerist culture.⁠

“I’m fascinated by the flexibility of some of the materials that I use, how for instance how heat transforms plastic into a metaphor for contorted and traumatized bodies. At this point, the materials carry their own stories and philosophy. As an artist, I become the curator and broker of these stories. My material choice is perfect for exploring the different forms of violence projected upon the environment and culture in post-colonial Africa by both colonizers and colonized.” – Pardon Mapondera⁠


Pardon Mapondera, Zenze (detail) , 2019, Plastic Straws, 228 x 128 cm

Lulama Mlambo, Spirit Lake, 2020, Ink and acrylic paint on Fabriano paper, 72 x 66 cm

Congratulations to runner-up for the Emergence Art Prize, Lulama Mlambo! ✨⁠  Lulama ‘Wolf’ Mlambo is a visual artist who lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.⁠

Whilst studying fine art and fashion at the University of Johannesburg, her interest in abstract and expressionist styles became apparent as she became more involved in her practice.⁠

Her practice embodies subtlety in a form of texture and expression, a curious mix of ambiguity and curiosity. She experiments with different textures and molds that are formed from the earth and is currently directing her practice into ceramics and sustainable development. ⁠⁠

“My work carries my spirit before it carries a message. My intuition plays a vital role in the direction I go and then I compartmentalize with what I prioritize. I represent different parts of myself including abstraction, curiosity, mythology, spirituality, and introspection. Blackness is vital in my work because it is created by a black woman despite the medium or language it speaks It is vital because proof of existence is rare in the black community, information is shared but isn’t sustained in ways that are known to us right now. I express my yearning for answers and clarity in ways that make my blackness clear even when the work is abstract.” – Lulama Mlambo⁠

Lulama Mlambo, Umsebenzi, 2020, acrylic and sand on canvas, 140 x 100 cm