National Craft Competition helps inspire South Africa’s artists

Garnett Ludick turns bits of stone into masterpieces.

The 25-year-old resident of Paarl in the Western Cape entered a large mosaic that grittily captures the figure of a woman, into the 2018 National Craft Competition being held under the auspices of the Innibos Arts Festival.

The competition is the only national platform to recognise the excellence in skill of South Africans crafters and was held for the first time in 2017. The inaugural competition attracted almost 800 entries.

 

Garnett says that news of the competition was well received because it gives crafters an opportunity for their work to get wider exposure. “This is a way of creating conversations about crafts and of craft finding its rightful place in our current society… for it not just to be seen as a craft but an art form,” he says.

 

“Art is meant to be shared and not kept hidden in a studio. Works of art should spark conversations, not just between art enthusiasts but the public at large. They should evoke emotion, but most importantly, they should tell a story of hard work and perseverance.”

 

He fell in love with the mosaic genre while a student at the Kimberley Art Centre and started doing mosaics full time in 2014. “I am always learning and always perfecting my skill,” he says.

How to enter

Crafters have until April 20, 2018, to enter. They need simply take a photo of their entry – next to a matchbox for size of scale, and either email it to crafts@innibos.co.za or send it to 071 621 3597 via MMS or WhatsApp. There is no entry fee.

Remember to include your name, the town in which you live and your contact details.

Entrants who have not heard from the organisers within 30 days of the closing date must take it as given that they did not make the shortlist for final judging. Sixty entries will be shortlisted and these will form part of an exhibition to be held in Mbombela during the Innibos National Arts Festival from June 24 to 30, 2018.

The finalists must be available to attend the awards evening on Sunday, June 24, at which the winners will be announced.

The winner of the Platinum Award will receive R50 000, the Gold Award winner will pocket R20 000 and the Silver R15 000. There will also be merit awards for the Best Emerging Craftsmen, along with sound financial advice to grow their business. In addition, a Craft Retail Apprenticeship with Tourvest Destination Retail will be bestowed on one of the winners.

Entries in the disciplines of Ceramics, Beadwork, Wirework, Wood, Jewellery, Paper, Fabric Painting and Printing, Quilting, Leatherwork, Pewter, Glasswork, Embroidery and Mixed Media are invited.

The judges

A panel of judges with a passion for developing South Africa’s creative talent has been convened, including: Harrie Siertsema (Delagoa Trading, collector and art patron), Wendy Goldblatt (internationally-known ceramist), Maureen Waldeck (Brand Manager for Tourvest Destination Retail’s stores and retail brands and a seasoned retailer with an exceptional eye for merchandise), Joseph Mathe (National Department of Arts and Culture: Responsible for the development of crafts), Thabo Manetsi (Director: Western and Northern Cape provinces – Leading in Heritage Development) and Fran Stewart (Craft + Design Institute’s Market Support Programme Manager).

For information, please contact Jan Bhuda on 083 719 1731 or e-mail John Anthony Boerma at artaid@lantic.net.  Also, please LIKE the craft competition Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Innibosnationalcraftawards/ and follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/InnibosCA