Our 2019 Winner's experience

Patrick Rulore

Congratulations on being announced as the winner of Sasol New Signatures 2019! With the excitement from the awards evening behind us we wanted to chat to you about your journey from entrant to overall winner.

What went through your head when you heard your name being announced?

At first I didn’t believe it.  But I felt this happiness inside of me that was indescribable. Especially when the crowd was cheering at me. I felt like I was on top of the world.

How did you celebrate that evening?

Well since I had to consider interviews after the announcement, I only had a few glasses of juice. I even lost my appetite. I had the company of my friends to enjoy the night with and when I got home I had thankful prayer.

Did a collector buy your winning work?

Yes! I’m not sure who bought my work but shortly after the announcement, it had a red sticker.

Participating in Sasol New Signatures is incredibly exciting, and going on to win this fantastic accolade is even more exciting. It’s also important to acknowledge the impact that such intense artistic competitions can have. How has this experience affected you?

Positively. It’s a wonderful platform to expose emerging artists and to show the huge belief this corporate company has in emerging artists. It has opened doors for me as an emerging artist. The Sasol New Signatures competition sort of means you leap-frog ten big steps at once. This sort of achievement usually takes fifteen years.

With winning comes publicity. Do you enjoy this type of attention... or is it overwhelming for you?

Yes, I do enjoy the publicity as it is what we all crave these days. It also means your image as a person is broadcast everywhere very quickly by social media and other platforms. The media really adds value to the marketing side of our careers.

You are a student at Tshwane University of Technology completing a National Diploma in Fine Arts. What has the reaction been from your classmates?

Fantastic! They are more inspired and willing to participate in the future as I have proved to them that it is possible even if you’re a student.

Do you feel your win is a motivation to your fellow students and colleagues?

Definitely, some students don’t believe that their fellow students can even be one of the  merit winners of this competition. Especially with a traditional medium like painting. So this event of me winning has really boosted their confidence and desire to participate.

Did you have any doubts during the creation of your winning work called Stage 4 moments - and how did you overcome these?

I didn’t have any doubts as to how I was going to execute the work practically since I am confident with my painting skills. The only doubts I had was if the concept itself was worth it to be shortlisted. But also knowing that this concept will touch the judges as everyone can relate to it. This gave me more inspiration to execute it the way I did.

Your winning work is an oil on canvas painting. Are you planning to explore other mediums in the future?

About 95% of my visual communication will be oil. I am good at it and it has become my major medium in my art practice. I’m not planning to abandon this in the future. I’m considering a second medium of pencil on paper.

On the day of the awards you met your fellow finalists - do you have any comments on their entries? Can you tell us if you have a favourite? Who impressed you the most?

The works were excellent and kept me nervous . How different their works were from mine  gave the show diversity and a great amount of choice for the audience. My favourite work among them was Merit Winner, Angelique Patricia Mary Bougaard, with her work titled Crucified. It’s very personal and real and how it was presented was phenomenal.

Past winners have said that winning this competition was a game changer for their careers - what do you think?

Sure it is a game changer, financially as well as the spotlight it puts you in is great.

Your win came with the R100 000 prize money - how will this windfall help sustain your career?

This R100 000 will help me sustain my art practice. It has made my career easy to deal with and I am working on multiplying it until I am financially stable.

What’s next on the horizon?

My solo exhibition at Pretoria Art Museum for 2020 Sasol New Signatures competition and completing my diploma.