Ever since its inception, the PPC Imaginarium Awards has showcased some of South Africa’s top rising talent in art and design. Each year, the judging of the competition falls to a panel of formidable experts, including critics, artists, designers, curators and researchers.
This year’s judges are established in a range of disciplines, including research, design, curation, activism and education. They bring a wealth of skills as well as several decades’ worth of collective experience.
Regional judges select finalists from the work submitted in all categories, excluding architecture. Regional judging takes place in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg. The number of judging stations ensures that the PPC Imaginarium Awards are inclusive and representative. All judging is blind and unbiased.
Regional winners and runners-up of the PPC Imaginarium Awards take part in the annual traveling exhibition in late 2018. Finalists’ work will be featured in a range of esteemed shows, including the Turbine Art Fair and 100% Design South Africa. From the regional winners, national judges pick the overall winner of the 2018 PPC Imaginarium Awards.
Here are the judges of the 2018 PPC Imaginarium Awards:
- Rolihlahla Mhlanga: Mhlanga is currently the curatorial project manager of Assemblage Studios in Gauteng. He has curated several large shows, including Fresh Produce (part of the annual Turbine Art Fair). In 2014, he co-founded the Eyethu Gallery in Soweto, of which he is former Head Curator.
- Mary Sibande: Sibande is an awarding-winning sculptor, photographer and visual artist. Her work explores issues of race, class and gender, among others. To date, her work has been featured in France, Italy, South Africa, England and the United States.
- Eugene Hlophe: Hlophe is an award-winning artist whose work frequently explores violence, human rights and communication. In 2018, he received a commendation award at the KZNSA Members’ Exhibition for his oil-on-canvas piece ‘Whose Heritage?’
- Mellaney Ruiters: An artist, Ruiters is the recipient of numerous awards including the New Signatures Award (Epsac Community Art Centre NMMU Exhibition) and Best Student Award at the Regional Ceramic Exhibition of Ceramic South Africa. She teaches drawing and ceramics at Lovedale TVET College in Alice, Eastern Cape. In the past, she lectured and worked as the studio master’s assistant in the Ceramics Department of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
- Adelheid von Maltitz: Von Maltitz is a PhD candidate at the University of the Free State. She is also a junior lecturer in UFS’s Department of Fine Art. She was a runner-up in the Sasol New Signatures art contest in 2014.
- Raimi Gbadamosi: Professor Gbadamosi is an artist, writer and curator with degrees from Staffordshire University, Slade School of Fine Art and Manchester Metropolitan University. He has published widely on themes such as race, culture and politics. His work has been featured in Europe, Africa and Scandinavia. He currently sits on several boards and is a member of the interdisciplinary research group ‘Afroeuropeans’.
- Tumelo Mosaka: Mosaka returned to South Africa in 2017, having spent two decades in the United States, where he worked as a major curator. He is currently the main curator of the annual Investec Cape Town Art Fair.
- Stephen Hobbs: Hobbs is a South African multi-disciplinary artist and co-founder of The Trinity Session, a public art consultancy and artistic collaborative. He curated the Market Theatre Gallery (Johannesburg) from 1994 to 2000 and co-directed the Gallery Premises at Joburg Theatre from 2004 to 2008.
- Daniel van der Merwe: The founder of the PPC Imaginarium Awards, Daniel Van der Merwe, is also the contest’s lead organiser. He is PPC’s technical specialist and a qualified architect. Van der Merwe lectures regularly in architecture departments across South Africa, but mainly at the University of Johannesburg. Van der Merwe judges the national and all regional entries in the 2018 PPC Imaginarium.
- Wessel van Huyssteen: Van Huyssteen is a filmmaker and visual artist. He is a former Education Officer at the Katlehong Art Centre and principal of the Visual Arts and Crafts Academy. In 2008, he joined Big Fish School of Film Making as Head Mentor for the first-year documentary course. His credits include SABC 3’s thirteen-part drama series Covert.