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Cape Town Artist Wins Acclaimed PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Award

Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC), together with the Association of Arts Pretoria, today announced Roxane Litchia’s sculpture entitled "Dad” as the R50 000 first prize winner of this year's exclusive PPC Cement Young Concrete Sculptor Awards (YCSA).  

Litchia’s winning sculpture, created using clay moulded in silicone and then cast in cement, was selected for its multifaceted appeal. The first layer is a pure cement and water mix, which helped pick up as much detail as possible from the mould.  The artwork, which is a representation of a family breakdown, received praises from the judges for being beautifully crafted and was described to be a conceptually personal piece.  

The YCSA competition is regarded as unique due to the fact that it is the only competition in South Africa that requires concrete to be used as a medium of sculpturing. The 63 entries received are considered a high number for a niche competition of this calibre.

My current work conceptually deals with personal issues regarding myself and my family. More specifically, I’m responding to the emotional weight of violence and fear in South Africa, in contradiction to the beauty and freedom that I feel are unique to our country,” said Litchia. 

The judges made particular reference to the fact that the winning piece was well planned and executed.  “Litchia’s work transcended the limitations of the prescribed medium by embracing the solid weightiness of concrete and used it to reinforce her conceptual ideals,” said PPC technical consultant Donovan Leach who formed part of the judging panel. 

The YSCA runner-up prize of R25 000 was awarded to Pretoria-based Johann Nortjé for his cement and round bar sculpture entitled “Wishlist”.  He presents a commentary on fragmented events and the compartmentalisation of our minds.  The sculpture utilises and activates a premium of space.  Natural patinas lend credence and appeal to the bone-like shapes.

Merit awards, to the value of R5 000 each, went to Peter Mikael Campbell for his concrete and lead sculpture entitled “Descartes before De Horse” and Josua Strumpfer for his cement, wood and glass sculpture entitled “Time Capsule.

Josua Strumpfer’s sculpture, “Time Capsule” is a technically well-presented piece with a compelling commentary on the preservation of human relics. Subtly mocking, archaeological and archival references on the reverence afforded artifacts; he leaves the viewer to interpret their own museum/gallery experience.

Peter Mikael Campbell’s piece, “Descartes before De Horse” is an elegant testimony to the prevalence of Eurocentric theory in relation to the arts and sciences.  This sculpture is technically superb and the medium of concrete has been pushed to its uttermost limits.

It has been a fulfilling experience and an honour to be presented with such outstanding examples of contemporary sculpture.  We urge all participants to continue to develop their passion and pursuit of artistic excellence,” said Kay Potts, PPC Cement Young Concrete Sculptor Awards Judging Committee Chairperson.

This competition was started as one of PPC’s centenary celebrations 19 years ago and is one of the most interesting, creative and long standing concrete sculptor competitions in South Africa.  Designed to encourage young artistic expression in all its forms, the competition’s critical specification is that the medium utilised to create the art piece, is concrete. 

A core PPC Cement sponsorship, we are once again proud to be associated with this unique competition. The quality and direction of the various sculptures never fails to inspire, especially as new innovative techniques are discovered and used. Congratulations to all tonight’s winners,” said Nomzamo Basson, PPC’s Public Relations Manager.

The Young Concrete Sculptor exhibition runs from Wednesday 3 November – Wednesday 24 November 2010 at the Association of Arts Pretoria, 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria. 

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