Standard Bank Young Artists

The Standard Bank Young Artist Awards were established by the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown in 1984 to recognise relatively established young emerging South African artists who demonstrate  outstanding artistic talent. The National Arts Festival Committee select winners in five different disciplines: Theatre, Music, Dance, Jazz and Visual Art-and from time to time Film.

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2014 visual art winner

Twenty eight year old twin brothers Hasan and Husain Essop have been named by the National Arts Festival as the joint winners of the 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art. Born and raised in Cape Town, the twins have been collaborating since their graduation from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2007. They both completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Postgraduate Diploma in Art at Michaelis, and subsequently Postgraduate Certificates in Education, at the University of Cape Town.

The twins graduated with individual bodies of work, but when they were approached by the Goodman Gallery in 2007, they proposed the idea of collaborating and making art together - the first time they ever worked together....

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Winner
2014
Visual Art

2013 visual art winner

The 2013 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Visual Arts, 30 year old Mary Sibande, is celebrated for her practice in which she employs the human form as a vehicle through painting and sculpture, to explore the construction of identity in a postcolonial South African context. Johannesburg-based artist, Sibande attempts to critique stereotypical depictions of (particularly black) women in our society.

For Sibande, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award means personal growth, and is a validation of the years of hard work and an expression of the appreciation for her creative development and growth as an artist. "It is also a compliment and honour to me personally to be rewarded in this way, and to...

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Winner
2013
Visual Art

2012 visual art winner

Photographer Mikhael Subotzky (30) is a man of few public words. The Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art 2012 winner prefers to let his striking photographs do the talking. When asked what audiences can expect from Mikhael Subotzky in Grahamstown next year, the response was a mysterious, "A few surprises". 

The work of this talented former Capetonian has been exhibited widely, and some of his prints are included in collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Foto Museum Amsterdam. Subotzky is known for his remarkable knack of capturing the peculiarities of South...

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Winner
2012
Visual Art

2011 visual art winner

Well known for her experimentation with natural elements-cowhide in particular-as canvas for her artistic expression, Nandipha Mntambo is as concerned over the creative process as with the end result of her work. Her creativity has crossed many national, cultural, emotional and artistic boundaries. The 28 year old sculptor says, "I have used cowhide as a means to subvert expected associations with a corporeal presence, femininity, sexuality and vulnerability."

"Her mastery of an incredibly difficult medium, animal skin and hair, allows her to shape morphing structures that are part human and part animal, part alive and part dead, part grotesquely revolting and part sensually enticing. It is this ambivalence, that sense of unease, which elevates Mntambo's work above the level of the commonplace into...

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Winner
2011
Visual Art

2010 visual art winner

Michael MacGarry, 2010 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Visual Art, is proof that creativity cannot be confined. "From a young age, I have always wanted to work across a number of creative fields, from visual art to design and writing," said MacGarry. "Now as an adult, I do work across these fields, but the visual art component allows me to integrate all these elements in producing dense, theatrical and fictional hybrids."

This 31 year old Johannesburg-based visual artist, graphic designer and author draws from various creative wells to unpack and critically analyse contemporary socio-political and economic narratives on the African continent through his visual creations....

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Winner
2010
Visual Art
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