Concrete taken to new levels in art competition

by Darren
Concrete taken to new levels in art

Artists impress with exciting, complex cement structures.


Who knew that so much could be done with concrete? The record number of 123 entries submitted to the 2013 PPC Cement Young Concrete Sculptor Awards (YCSA) demonstrated high levels of innovation, technical excellence and strong conceptual presentation across the board.

“I’m in awe of what the artists are doing with concrete. They are continuing to push concrete to its limits and explore with it,” commented Donovan Leach, technical marketing manager at PPC and the technical judge for the PPC Cement YCSA.

The PPC Cement YCSA is a platform for emerging artists to bring their vision to life through the medium of concrete. The art competition started as one of the cement company’s centenary celebrations 23 years ago and is held in partnership with the Association of Arts in Pretoria.

Winning the first prize and the title of best fine art sculpture on exhibition, Josua Strümpfer created a labyrinth with a concrete animal skull at the top, entitled Kunsarbeid. The judging panel praised it for its complexity in both design and education.

“The labyrinth panels are symbolic of our journey in life. Our lives are not only metaphorically channelled by cement structures, but also literally,” Strümpfer explained.

The fine arts runner-up was Bongani Dlamini and Ncedani Fobo’s collaborative artwork, The unfair servant, which has been applauded by the judges for raising thought-provoking questions around society in South Africa.

St John Fuller won the functional art award for his piece, PUG – a fully functional pinhole camera. The precision necessary to construct the camera without any leakages stunned the judges and the artwork aligned with the 2013 competition theme, “Apply your grey matter”.  

Merit awards went to Adriaan Petrus Diederichs for his delicate piece, Hand tot mond, and to Nicholas Prinsloo for his detailed installation, The lights of Arcadia. A certificate of recognition was also awarded to Gavin John Risi for his work, Metaphorical African.

PPC’s Facebook fans also had a say and Setlamorago Mashilo was voted as the fan’s favourite for his artwork titled Mabu a u tswitswe, a Sepedi idiom which translates to “the soil has been stolen”.

According to the PPC Group’s public relations manager, Nomzamo Khanyile, YCSA is just what South Africa, the cement industry and artists need. “For PPC, this niche art competition remains a celebration of the rich and varied artistic talent in South Africa and encourages the traditional art of durable sculpture with concrete as its chosen media,” she said.

The number of entries for the 2013 competition increased significantly by 25% from the previous year. For the final adjudication, the fine art sculpture category had 16 sculpture entries and the functional art category featured 11 pieces.

“YCSA grows from strength to strength every year, and we look forward to the artists, designers and innovators to push the boundaries of concrete to new heights in this year’s competition,” concluded Khanyile.

Tel: 011 386 9309
Website: www.ppc.co.za

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