Upcoming young artist Chris Soal was announced as the overall winner of cement supplier PPC’s Imaginarium Awards 2018.
The PPC Imaginarium Awards is an art and design competition that challenges emerging artists and designers to demonstrate their knack for innovation by incorporating concrete into their respective disciplines.
The winner – a 24-year-old sculptor and fine arts graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand – received R150 000 in prize money and participation in an eight-month-long national travelling exhibition.
Soal’s winning piece, titled Imposed Structure to the Detriment of the Members consists of cement cast into the shape of a deflated and scuffed soccer ball, through which construction rebar has been forced. This sculpture lies on the floor, leaning up against the wall, as dejected, pierced and deflated as abandoned soccer balls often are.
PPC said on Monday that the work speaks not only to the realities of growing up in a city environment, where soccer is often played in the streets, on concrete and tar, but also to the relationship of soccer to South African industry.
Soal’s artwork was chosen as the winner of the PPC Imaginarium Awards by a national judging panel, which included globally acclaimed contemporary artist Mary Sibande and Imaginarium Awards head Daniel van der Merwe.
“Additionally, [the panel included] renowned local artist Stephen Hobbs and University of Johannesburg art gallery curator Annali Dempsey, who brought a wealth of industry know-how to the judging of South Africa’s top art and design contest,” PPC stated.
Growing from strength to strength each year of its existence, the award-winning competition has outstripped expectations with an impressive selection of concrete pieces by upcoming local talent, with entrants submitting work across a number of categories, including film, fashion, sculpture, jewellery, industrial design and architecture.
Each of the category winners received R50 000 in cash with the runners-up getting R15 000, bringing the total prize money for the competition to R500 000.
The winners were chosen from a record number of 62 national finalists from 302 regional entrants, topping last year’s number – 55 finalists chosen from 869 regional entries.
Category winners include Aleks Ashton and runner-up Daniella Sachs for jewellery; Gabrielle Foulis and runner-up Nangamso Dana for fashion; Soal and runner-up Franli Meintjies for sculpture; Giovanni Zambiri and runner-up Anton van Reenen for industrial design; and Phumulani Ntuli for film.
Entries in the architecture category will be showcased and judged at the 2018 Architecture ZA conference on May 3 to 5.