StateoftheART is pleased to announce the winner of the 2019, StateoftheART Gallery Award. The Award aims to champion contemporary art by emerging artists resident in South Africa, increasing exposure for their work, and encouraging further professional development opportunities. Entrants were asked to submit work to the theme Cultivating Culture and were challenged to explore the characteristics that determine their personal and social identity: their own unique culture – within a South African context.
The winning artist is Pretoria based Balekane Legoabe whose digital artwork explores the complexities of values and truths, and the resultant impact on personal and social identity.
Judges comments included: ‘I like the collage human/animal hybrids depicting what I see as a confused mind frame symbolising a culture in what seems to be a state of flux.’ and ‘Beautifully and skilfully made. Nice surprise to see this medium lending itself to structurally reinforce the theme.’
The ten shortlisted finalists were selected from hundreds of artists from across South Africa who applied for the Award. A work by each of the finalists went on show earlier this month for the final round of judging in a group exhibition. Mirjam Asmal, Director, AVA; Carol Hodes, Curator and Collector; Chris Denovan, Award Winning Artist and Jennifer Reynolds, Director of StateoftheART, comprised this year’s panel of respected art professionals who named Legoabe the overall Award winner.
The Award Finalists exhibition reflects a broad range of media. As well as Balekane Legoabe, the show features the work of: Monique Day-Wilde, Minenkulu Ngoyi, Natasha Brown, Christelle Viviers, Laurette de Jager, Nonkululeko Sibande, Larissa Mwanyama, Damian Osborne and Simon Venter.
As the 2019 winner, Balekane receives a prize of a solo exhibition in 2020, and a R20 000 cash award to support the development of new work.
Director of StateoftheART, Jennifer Reynolds said, ‘We are thrilled to be working with Balekane towards her 2020 show.
‘The quality and standard of work submitted to the second edition of the StateoftheART Gallery Award was outstanding and we congratulate the winner and all the entrants on their inspiring artworks. We look forward to following their developing careers, and wish them and each of our shortlisted entrants all the success for the future.’
The Award Finalists exhibition concludes Saturday 14 September 2019.
Check out her artworks in the Finalists Exhibition online here.
Check our StarteoftheART’s interview with Balekane here.