At a gala event held at the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch, Hello Wolk!, Tears Become Rain and PLANTed, were selected as the awarded projects.
The Rupert Art Foundation and the Rupert Museum launched the Social Impact Arts Prize in 2019, calling for great creative ideas with the potential to make an impact on the communities within which they are created.
‘All of the finalists demonstrated extremely responsible and authentic arts-based ideas that could address pressing social challenges creatively. In inspiringly diverse ways, they presented workable solutions that could influence, affect or simply make us more aware of societal conditions in our world today,’ comments Hanneli Rupert, Co-Director and Chairwoman of the Social Impact Arts Prize 2020.
‘We hope that this initiative will contribute towards making social impact central to South African arts-based practices – and even the driving force,’ added Roelof van Wyk, Co-Director of the Social Impact Arts Prize 2020.
The preparatory work for all six projects is currently on exhibition at the Rupert Museum and will move to the Jan Rupert Art Centre in Graaff-Reinet in April 2020. The three awarded projects will be installed in Graaff-Reinet between April and July 2020, when the official opening of the finished projects will take place.
HELLO WOLK! by studioMAS and Gustav Praekelt, is a water-scarcity focused project that begins as an artwork, provides a certain amount of water, whilst also connecting to the community digitally. The artwork will be built in the image of a rain cloud that collects water from the atmosphere, which can be used to water a garden beneath the cloud structure.
The cloud will also operate as a symbol of the digital cloud – offering free community wifi and a hub for community-based information. Young women living in the town will be taught to code, and update the cloud with health, education and literacy content, as well as information important to the community.
TEARS BECOME RAIN, by David Brits & Raiven Hansmann, is a mass choir programme in response to the climate crisis.
The creation of this choir aims to instil hope and unite a diverse community by singing together for rain. Drawing on the rich choral history of the greater region, this project uses song as a tool to educate people about our precious water resources – whilst uniting people in their shared predicament. The narrative of Tears Become Rain is a story that follows the journey of a young San boy in a time of great drought. Crying, his tears of grief turn into rain and restore abundance to the world. Connecting contemporary lives to a story from our shared pasts is intended as an inspirational act.
PLANTed, by Lorenzo Nassimbeni, Andrew Brose and Casper Lundie, is a public project which gives visibility to the loss of local knowledge of medicinal plants and recognises the under-represented disciplines of craft, tech know-how, local food culture, architecture and indigenous languages.
This project will celebrate the plant life of Graaff-Reinet, whilst engaging local groups in the production and presentation of a central built structure for artists, designers and the local community to exhibit their plant knowledge and bring to light these overlooked aspects of culture and place that are often concealed.