The National Arts Festival last night named an unprecedented eight young South Africans winners of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award, bringing to 125 the total number who have been honoured since Standard Bank began sponsoring the Awards three decades ago.
The Award is made annually to young South African artists who are either on the threshold of national acclaim, or whose artistic excellence has enabled them to make international breakthroughs. “Celebrating excellence, innovation and a refined technical skill and artistry rests at the heart of the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards. Each of this year’s winners represent the vibrancy and sophistication with which South Africa’s artistic and cultural legacy continues to be enriched” said Festival Artistic Director, Ismail Mahomed.
The Awards include, for the first time since inception, a prize shared by siblings in a single category, with photographers Hasan and Husain Essop being named joint Visual Art winners. The brothers have been collaborating since their graduation from the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town, and will stage a new joint exhibition in Grahamstown next year. “It is also only the sixth time since the start of the awards that a prize has been given in the ‘Film’ category, and we are delighted that we can include that on our roster of winners together with our newest award category for ‘Performance Art’, which was instituted last year,” Mahomed said. “Quite often we have had to present a smaller, refined