Doreen Southwood overall winner at Brett Kebble Art Awards
Cape Town mixed media artist Doreen Southwood was named overall winner of the new Brett Kebble Art Awards at a 600 seater dinner held in the Cape Town International Convention Centre on September 30. Southwood was flown back from Italy by the BKAA to receive her prize, at R100 000, the largest awarded for a single artwork in the history of South African art. The winning piece was Southwood's 'The Swimmer', a painted bronze of a young woman gazing blankly into space as she takes up a diving position at the end of a diving board. On the rear of the sculpture is a brass coloured plug hole.
The winners in the six different categories were Sculpture: Joesphine Ghesa from Mooi River, for her ceramic Man Eaten by Fish; Printmaking: Dikgwele Molete of Johannesburg for Moonstruck, a linocut rescued from the burnt ruins of the Artists' Press studio; Photography: Abrie Fourie of Pretoria for his luminous colour photograph Solitary Confinement; Painting and mixed media: Hannake Benade (Cape Town) for her pastel drawing Shadowboxer; New media: Anne McIlleron (Johannesburg) for her projection on sand, White Swim, and finally, in the Craft category. Lobolile Ximba of Durban, for her beadwork and cloth piece of a black woman in crucifixion pose on a cross, entitled Beaded Crucifix - Women who are Crucified to AIDS. In addition to these awards, five additional Merit Awards of R5 000 each were given to artists considered to have been in contention for the top spots.
This is the first time that the awards have been held, and it is understood that business magnate Brett Kebble has at this stage committed to continuing the awards for a further two years.
The curators were cartoonist Richard Smith assisted by Claire Breukel, late of the AVA. The judges were artists Zwelethu Mthethwa and Penny Siopis, art critic Lucia Burger and freelance curator Julia Meintjes.
For a review of the exhibition, see the mid October update of ArtThrob. The website of the Brett Kebble Art Awards can be seen at www.bkaa.co.za