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Emerging creatives get concrete support through the inaugural PPC Imaginarium Awards, South Africa’s most substantial Arts and Design competition

PPC Imaginarium Awards

What do un-established artists and designers need more than anything to help launch their careers? Financial support? Tick! Exposure? Tick! Recognition? Mentorship? Guidance? Tick! Tick! Tick! The PPC Imaginarium – an exciting competition that seeks to rocket boost emerging artists and designers – is ticking all the boxes… The initiative is noteworthy for offering the country’s richest cash prize ever for an arts competition boasting over R500 000 in prize money. But it is even more remarkable for its ambition of providing a nurturing launch platform for its winners – with the aim of establishing them as leaders in their field. The inaugural PPC Imaginarium Awards cement the parent company PPC Ltd’s position as one of the largest and most exciting promoters and patrons of the arts and design in South Africa, a company that has previously been awarded for its innovation and support of the arts.

‘Through the PPC Imaginarium Awards we aim to maximise opportunities for young emerging artists and creative in the arts and design disciplines in South Africa,’ states PPC Architect Daniel van der Merwe.

Expanding from its longstanding PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Awards established in 1992, the PPC Imaginarium Awards provide a platform for designers and artists to express their artistic talents using Portland cement-based concrete as a primary inspiration or material. The awards incorporate six categories that recognise innovation and design in architecture, film, sculpture, fashion, jewellery and industrial design.

“Portland cement lends itself to great innovation and experimentation in practically any design discipline,” explains Van Der Merwe. What’s more, concrete is a highly desirable contemporary material. Trend analyst Dion Chang, who also happens to be one of the competition judges and mentors, comments: ‘Concrete and metal was very visible in many of the collections at Paris and London Design weeks.’

To train artists and designers in the medium of concrete, PPC hosted one-day workshops across the country from April to June 2014. Each session demonstrated best practices in working with concrete, judging criteria and technical tips – essential to facilitate a high level of entries.

Entries were open to South African citizens, residency permit holders, as well as foreign students with study permits – anyone not yet professionally established in their respected fields. Entries by individuals as well as team collaborations were allowed. Artists and designers could enter multiple categories with an original artwork for each category.

PPC Imaginarium Awards: Judges & Winners

Judged by a super jury of leading industry personalities, each category winner will receive R50 000 while the runner–up walks away with R15 000. Each category winner stands a further chance to receive the overall grand prize of R100 000. In addition to the monetary incentives, category winners will also receive opportunities and mentorship from various thought leaders in their respective industries. These leaders include the aforementioned Chang; writer and film director Hanneke Schutte; renowned artist and printmaker Diane Victor; architects Mokena Makeka and Ora Joubert; Adriaan Hugo, industrial designer; Wessel van Huyessteen, documentary filmmaker; and contemporary jewellery designer Marchand van Tonder; among others.

The winners in each category include Chris Van Rensburg (Jewelry); Ayanda Ntsigana (Architecture); Martin Bolton and Craig Tyndalll (Industrial Design); Mlonishwa Chiliza (Sculpture); Bokang Lehabe (Fashion) as well as Anri and Andre Coetzee (Film).

Competition runner up’s and merit award winners include Denis Andrews (Merit Award – Jewelry); Sunet Ferreira (Runner up – Jewelry) Karma Bosman (Merit Award – Sculpture); Lee Burgers (Runner up – Sculpture); Riaan Diederichs (Runner up – Industrial Design); Mishka Lombard (Runner up – Fashion); Luxolo Jita (Merit Award – Fashion); Sumaiya Bhayat (Merit Award – Cinematography) Roland Reed and Rowen Smith ( Runner up – Cinematography); Taswald Pillay (Merit Award – Architecture); Phelelani Mthembu ( Runner up – Architecture).

All creative work can be viewed at the UJ Gallery up until February thereafter the designs will be showcased at the Design Indaba. The overall PPC Imaginarium winner will be announced at the Young Blood Art Gallery in Cape Town on March 05, 2015 forming part of the Mother City’s popular “First Thursdays” event.

For more information about the PPC Imaginarium Awards visit: