Colleen Winter wins Sasol New Signatures art competition merit award again!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Colleen Winter wins Sasol New Signatures art competition merit award again

Art is often an expression of reality. This is exactly what Colleen Winter’s award winning work “Pupa” represents. Winter walked away with a merit award and a R10 000 cash prize at the 2015 Sasol New Signatures art competition. This is the second consecutive year that Winter’s scoops this accolade. 

Sasol New Signatures is an initiative of the Association of Arts Pretoria and is recognised as the longest running art competition of its kind in South Africa. 

This year, Sasol celebrates 26 years as the main sponsor, playing a pivotal role in unearthing new talent and providing a platform from which emerging artists can launch their careers. Sasol New Signatures is open to South African artists above the age of 18. This must be emerging artists who have never had a solo exhibition. 

This year’s theme for the competition was "An Eye for Potential”, challenging emerging artists to submit artworks that demonstrate their ability to see beyond what the naked eye can see. 

No stranger to the competition, Winter caught the judges’ attention again for her technical excellence, well-considered submissions, and multi-disciplinary approach to art.  ‘Pupa’ is a delicately crafted paper and pin sculptural form built to resemble a cocoon. The piece represents a time of transformation in one’s life. 

Referring to her own experiences, Winter said: “There was a time in my life when I underwent many changes and I needed to withdraw and re-assess all the values I had previously upheld. It was a time of great emotional upheaval and confusion. I held on to the fact that one day this metamorphosis would be complete, and I would re-emerge, equipped and empowered and ready for a ‘new’ kind of life,” she explained.

Although the sculpture is small and simplistic, it recalls the ebb and flow of all life forms in nature, which echoes back to the artist’s own process of transformation for the better.

“This for us was one of the most striking artworks,” shared Pieter Binsbergen, National Chairman and judge.

“The layers of carefully constructed modes and media of representation seem to force the viewer to engage with the artwork on a more intimate and personal level. The intricate way in which these modes trigger the viewer’s response, echo back into validating larger contemporary issues through the vehicle of visual communication.” 

Aged 55, Winter took the brave decision to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an artist and completed her degree in Fine Arts at the University of Johannesburg in 2014. In her short yet meaningful career as an artist, Winter has been a finalist in the Exposures photographic competition run by the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture and PPC’s Cement Young Concrete Sculpture twice. In 2013, her work was exhibited at the Sasol New Signatures exhibition in Pretoria, and she won a Sasol New Signatures merit award the following year. 

Winter’s work will once again be featured as part of this year’s prestigious Sasol New Signatures art exhibition which will be held at the Pretoria Art Museum from 3 September to 4 October 2015. Not to be missed as well is the exhibition by 2014 Sasol New Signatures winner Elizabeth Balcomb titled “Auguries of Innocence”.

For more information visit www.sasolsignatures.co.za or contact Nandi Hilliard from the Association of Arts Pretoria on 012 346 3100 or artspta@mweb.co.za.