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The Art of Innovation: Entries open for Sasol New Signatures 2021

Entries are now officially open for the annual Sasol New Signatures Art Competition 2021. Being the longest-running competition of its kind in South Africa, Sasol New Signatures has become a platform for unknown artists to break into the mainstream art stage. Sasol has sponsored this important art competition for over 30 years and has launched the careers of many household names in art currently working in South Africa and globally. 

‘The Sasol New Signatures Art Competition is not just another art competition – it is an enabler for emerging artists to not only expand the possibilities of art but also to inspire innovation and change.’

Pfunzo Sidogi, Chairperson Sasol New Signatures
  • Sasol New Signatures winner
  • Patrick Rulore Sasol New Signatures winner
  • Sasol New Signatures winner

This annual competition is open to all South African artists over 18 years who have not yet held a solo exhibition. Artists who have held a solo exhibition for academic purposes (a Master’s degree exhibition) are allowed to enter. Artists can submit up to two artworks in all artistic mediums, including photography, performance art, video, and installations.
     ‘With the advent of Covid-19, there is a greater need for innovators and creators to shape the world anew and inspire change,’ says Sidogi. ‘Taking on this challenge, the 2021 Sasol New Signatures Art Competition has created a space for eligible emerging artists to imagine, transgress, transcend, disrupt, and innovate through their creativity,’ he adds.  
     The ongoing sponsorship of this competition demonstrates Sasol’s commitment to discovering new artistic talent and promoting them to the art-loving public, says Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol.
     ‘The art of innovation is one of Sasol’s hallmarks, and the foundation upon which the business was built. It is who we are and have committed to being. For this reason, Sasol is proud to be a key sponsor, together with Association of Arts Pretoria, of this important initiative that seeks to encourage South Africa’s creativity and contribute to our national heritage,’ says Mbatha.

  • Sasol New Signatures winner
  • Sasol New Signatures winner
  • Sasol New Signatures winner
  • Sasol New Signatures winner
  • Sasol New Signatures winner

Sasol New Signatures is not only about art but also education

Since 2001, the competition has hosted information sessions for potential entrants. These detailed sessions give entrants much needed technical information regarding format, size, media, and layout of entered works as well as valuable advice regarding the presentation of competition standard work. This year, due to Covid-19, the Information Session will be hosted online and will go live on 7 June 2021 on numerous virtual platforms and will be available for viewing on an ongoing basis until final artwork submissions. All necessary information can be found on their website.
     Contemporary, innovative, and emerging artists with winning aspirations are invited to submit their artworks at one of several collection points around the country between Tuesday 7 September and Wednesday 8 September 2021, from 10:00 and 16:00 .
     The winner of the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition will be announced on Wednesday 10 November 2021. The winner will receive R100 000 and a solo exhibition at next year’s exhibition. The winning works will also be displayed at the Pretoria Art Museum from Thursday 11 November 2021 to Sunday 9 January 2022. The runner up will receive R25 000 and the five merit award winners will each walk away with R10 000.  

WATCH the Sasol New Signatures 2021 Information Session

Exhibiting 2019 Sasol New Signatures winner, Patrick Rulore

The 2019 Sasol New Signatures winner, Patrick Rulore, will hold his first solo exhibition within the official Sasol New Signatures 2021 exhibition. The exhibition is titled Life in Darkness. Rulore says of his work: ‘I am fascinated by the human figure, and in my paintings, I attempt to capture some of the complexity of the body and the enigmatic power which human beings possess. This series explores human connection against the backdrop of an ephemeral world of light and shadow. Working on a large scale is crucial to my creative process.’ 
     For more information on competition, Information Sessions and drop off points visit the Sasol New Signatures website or contact Nandi Hilliard from the Association of Arts Pretoria on 012 346 3100, 083 288 5117 or

Sasol New Signatures 2021 art competition entries open

Drop off points for artists’ work: 

  • Bloemfontein: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein
  • Cape Town:  Art B Gallery, Library Centre, Carl van Aswegen Street, Bellville, Cape Town
  • Durban:  KZNSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, Durban
  • Johannesburg: FADA Building, Department of Visual Arts, University of Johannesburg, Bunting Road Campus, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
  • Polokwane: The Polokwane Art Museum, Library Gardens, corner Grobler & Hans van Rensburg Street, Polokwane
  • Gqeberha (PE): Bird Street Gallery – Nelson Mandela University, Bird Street Campus, 20 Bird Street, Gqeberha Central
  • Pretoria:  Pretoria Art Museum, corner Francis Baard (previously Schoeman) and Wessels Streets, Arcadia Park, Pretoria

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