Winning Sasol New Signatures accelerates artists’ careers

21 August 2017

This year marks the 28th year of Sasol’s sponsorship of Sasol New Signatures art competition, which is South Africa’s longest standing art competition and has established itself as a prominent career launch pad for emerging artists.

Previous winners of this competition are testament to the positive impact winning it has had on their artistic careers. Among them is Zyma Amien, Sasol New Signatures 2016 winner, who will be holding a solo exhibition titled “Real” lives and “ordinary” objects “,at the Pretoria Art Museum from 31 August to 8 October 2017. This will be alongside this year’s finalists of the competition.

Amien’s solo exhibition examines experiences of garment workers in post-apartheid South Africa and asks questions about the impact of the global village and why workers remain predominantly female. “My interest in this project is rooted in my direct relationship with the many women who work as seamstresses in the South African garment and textile industry. The demographics of the clothing and textile industry have been shaped by the segregationist policies of apartheid, the legacies of which are still imprinted on the lives of the women who continue to work in the factories,” she said.

Art enthusiasts can look forward to this challenging exhibit, which will visually highlight the plight of garment industry workers by using metaphors created out of sewing machines, needles, thread and overalls. This exhibition features 48 works, 10 of which are wall works.

The 2017 winner of Sasol New Signatures competition will be announced at a ceremony on 30th August 2017, after which the finalists’ works will be displayed at the Pretoria Art Museum until the 8th October 2017. The overall winner receives R100 000 prize money and a solo exhibition at next year’s event with the runner up winning R25 000 and each of the five merit award winners take home R10 000.


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