01 August 2007, Pretoria Johannesburg artist Gavin Rooke captured the first prize and R60 000 in cash at this years Sasol New Signatures exhibition with his photographic work Berea, Johannesburg.
The work was unanimously awarded as overall winner by the judging panel. It impressed on many levels, interweaving concept and process seamlessly into an immaculate presentation, says Franci Cronje, Sasol New Signatures Competition Chairperson.
Presented in an elaborate romantic frame, the photographic print depicts a surreal image of a street in the suburb Berea, Johannesburg. The work was shot on expired transparency film, dated 1979, and cross developed as if it was captured on print film. The result is a yellowish tinted image due to the chemical process of the cross development of the expired film.
At the height of Apartheid oppression, Berea was an upper income living area for white-only residents. The use of expired film from 1979 is significant in representing this tumultuous time in South African history and denotes the zeitgeist and irony encompassing this area today.
Rooke's work comments on much more than the physical landscape. Berea, Johannesburg is a richly layered work of art, worthy of a first prize, says Cronje.
|Peter Mikael Campbell|
Peter Mikael Campbell - "Inhuman Systems"
The judging panel awarded the runner-up prize of R15 000 to Peter Mikael Campbell from Port Elizabeth for his mixed media work Inhumane Systems.
Campbell's work impressed judges with its treatment of a found object in a museum context, commenting on globalisation, capitalist ideology and the collective conscious. The work exhibits sophisticated conceptual development and a high standard of presentation. It is sharp, witty, relevant and flawlessly presented, says Cronje.
The judging panel awarded five merit awards of R5 000 each to: