IOL | Matlhatsi Dibakwane

Contemporary art gallery Fried Contemporary in Brooklyn took the top prize during the Cape Town Art Fair at the weekend. The gallery presented Usha Seejarim’s work. She won the Fair’s Tomorrows/Today Prize – a curated section of solo presentations by artists.
The section showcased contemporary African art, which for the first time this year opened for artists beyond the continent. The conceptual artist and sculptor’s practice is based on her interest in the representation of gender and women, and a fascination with the ordinary through domestic and found objects. Seejarim won a cash prize of R50000 and went on to have one of her pieces bought by the Fondazione Fiera Milano as part of its collection, so it’s destined for Italy.

She said with 20 years’ experience in the industry she felt validated as an artist as winning meant she was on the right track. “It means so much to me,” she said. “It shows I’m going down the right path, even after years of work. “My inspiration comes from everyday living, from washing and ironing and chores, but it also comes from thinking beyond what it is that one does every single day.” Seejarim acknowledged that her “uniqueness” won her the prize and said that young upcoming artists had to stop imitating other artists’ work…read more

Image: Conceptual artist and sculptor Usha Seejarim, represented by Fried Contemporary from Pretoria, won the Fair’s Tomorrows/Today Prize at Cape Town Art Fair.