Nosiviwe Matikinca (22)-  Gqeberha Overall winner

Congratulations on being announced the overall winner in the Sasol New Signatures Competition 2023

Tell us what your reaction was when you received the news of being one of the top 7.

I froze for a good minute; I was on campus sitting with my classmates. When the news sank in, I screamed and started jumping around, my friends were so lost. I showed them the email and we screamed together. Later I went to tell my lecturers, we were so happy that we even shared a group hug. When I arrived at Res I shared the news with my family, they were so happy and proud of me.

Is this the first time you have entered the competition? If so why and if not how many times and why is this competition an important one for you?

Yes, this is my first entry into Sasol New Signatures. I didn’t have much knowledge about the competition. I only heard about it when people in the department spoke about it and as a result, we had to take part in it for one of our school modules. This competition is important for me because it will put my name on the map as an artist. it will allow me to grow as an artist. It brings me joy and excitement to know that someone will know that there is a girl named Nosiviwe out there! I also showed myself that hard work and determination pay off.

Tell us a little about your artistic journey up until the point of entering Sasol New Signatures 2023?

My mother enrolled herself in a lot of creative short courses, one of which was facilitated by the Learn to Earn community development programme. I remember when she brought her work home, I would watch her work. When some of her fabrics or drawing materials fell on the ground, I would pick them up and imitate what she was doing. One day she decided to bring me more of her left-over materials, and that is when I started creating works of my own, under her supervision. In primary school my teachers used to ask me what I wanted to be when I was older, I replied, “I want to draw and paint the whole day” and my classmates used to laugh at me. For high school, I went to an Arts and culture school, and I enjoyed being there, sometimes my parents could not afford the materials I needed so I got a part-time job so that I was able to assist them with buying the materials. I attended after-school programmes and workshops that were hosted by Enlighten Education Trust and the Peter Clarke Art Centre. I just wanted to learn more. Now I am in university and still learning and experimenting with more materials and learning new techniques, it has been quite a journey.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career as an artist to date?

My mother has been the biggest influence, sometimes when am back at home, I still go through some of her work as she still creates pieces. People and my environment have also had influences on my work, I find people to be very interesting subject matters, how we act, the emotions we portray and how we express ourselves with different people and environments.

Tell us a little about why you created the piece you submitted?

My piece is about those learners who come from less privileged backgrounds, and whose parents cannot afford to buy them new school shoes. They wear shoes given to them by their friends and relatives. While collecting these shoes in the township, some people didn’t have an old pair to give me because they only had the one they were currently wearing to school. When I could not meet the targeted number of shoes, I felt discouraged and I felt like I was not conveying my message fully. My lecturer suggested that I make a mould and cast the shoes in slip, a ceramic casting technique. The slip really captured the essence of the shoes, every cut, tear and the journey of each learner. This material is very fragile, and it makes whatever you cast with it a precious piece.

Tell us about your preferred medium/s ...and why?

I love working with different materials, literally anything I find. I just never wanted to limit myself to one way of creating art. I collect a lot of stuff when am walking around my area, and school grounds, and I always use these found materials along with others in some of my works.

When people view your work – what reaction/response are you hoping to create?

I am hoping that people go down memory lane when they see my work and that they remember a certain person, place, or feeling. I hope they get inspired to create their own stories. I am hoping they realise that there are a lot of ways that one can create art and that they tap into their creative energy and enjoy every moment of it.

Why do you think your work was chosen as a top 7?

I think my work was chosen because it is unique. My concept was relatable and people were able to engage with the story I was portraying.

And if you are chosen as the overall winner? How would you feel? Have you already got an idea or vision for your solo exhibition?

I will be so happy, yhoo I mean wow, it will be a dream come true, I will probably have a red arm from pinching myself. I will be super proud of myself and forever grateful to Sasol and the almighty for the opportunity. For my exhibition, I would like to showcase more of these shoes and have them in different styles and tones. I would also like people to get the full experience by taking them through the creation process of my work.

Which South African artists do you admire and why?

I admire the late Gerard Sekoto and Lulama Wolf, their styles are so unique and different. The way they work with their material and choice of colours is amazing. I believe their subject matter is the people around them and their surroundings. I think that their inspiration never ran out because there is always something happening in our lives and around us. I also aspire to be a unique artist and to develop my own signature style.

Anything else you would like to add?

I am grateful for the opportunity; my family and friends will never hear the end of it. Grateful to my lecturers for their help and motivation and to my parents for allowing me to study what I love. I am patting myself on the shoulder for all the hard work and I thank the Almighty for blessing me with this gift, it is his, I am just a vessel.