PPC Imaginarium Awards 2018: Symbolic soccer sculpture triumphs

by Ofentse Sefolo
PPC Imaginarium Awards 2018: Symbolic soccer sculpture triumphs

The winning piece at the PPC Imaginarium Awards 2018, entitled “Imposed Structure (Deflated)”, consists of cement cast into the shape of a deflated and scuffed soccer ball, through which a construction rebar has been forced. This sculpture lies on the floor, as dejected, pierced and deflated as abandoned soccer balls often are.
The work speaks not only to the realities of growing up in a city environment, where soccer is played in the streets, on concrete and tar, but also to the functional, yet tense relationship between the rebar and cement, as well as the relationship between soccer and the South African industry. One example of this relationship is the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which raised questions about the event’s benefit for the country.

For this design, the 24-year-old sculptor and fine arts graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand, Chris Soal, won R150 000 in prize money and participation in an eight-month-long nationwide travelling exhibition.

Each category winner received R50 000, with the runners-up getting R15 000 each. The winners were chosen from a record number of 62 national finalists from 302 regional entrants, topping last year’s number, which saw 55 finalists chosen from 869 regional entries.

The PPC Imaginarium Awards national judging panel included globally acclaimed contemporary artist Mary Sibande and Daniel van der Merwe (who heads the PPC Imaginarium Awards), in addition to renowned local artist Stephen Hobbs and University of Johannesburg (UJ) Art Gallery curator Annali Dempsey, bringing a wealth of industry know-how to the judging of this art and design contest.

Category winners:

Jewellery Winner: Aleks Ashton Runner-up: Daniella Sachs


Fashion Winner: Gabrielle Foulis Runner-up: Nangamso Dana


Sculpture Winner: Chris Soal Runner-up: Franli Meintjes


Industrial design Winner: Giovanni Zambri Runner-up: Anton van Reenen

Winner: Phumulani Ntuli

Exposure for entries
Entries in the architecture category will be showcased and judged at the 2018 Architecture ZA Conference, replacing the prestigious Des Baker Award for outstanding work by an architecture student. “The winner will be seen as the best design student currently enrolled for a degree in architecture,” says Van der Merwe.

Exhibited at the UJ Art Gallery during April, works by all the national finalists will also form part of the awards’ travelling exhibition, visiting platforms such as the Turbine Art Fair and 100% Design South Africa 2018 in Gauteng, the AVA Gallery in Cape Town and the KZNSA Gallery in Durban.

For its role in supporting local developing artists and designers, the PPC Imaginarium Awards has been recognised by several Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Awards. It has now extended its reach from South Africa to Zimbabwe, and is running its first PPC Imaginarium Awards in Zimbabwe in 2018.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to the PPC Imaginarium for the info and photos provided.

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Caption main image: “Imposed Structure (Deflated)” by Chris Soal
The concept for this piece was inspired by materiality – of cement, its relationship with rebar, and the object captured by the sculpture.

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