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Meet the Judges - Eugene Hlophe, 2018

Award-winning sculptor and upcoming artist Eugene Hlophe joins the judges of the 2018 PPC Imaginarium Awards.

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  • Tell us about yourself. What work and/or projects are you involved in?

I am a Durban-based artist who specialises in drawing, painting and sculpture.  I am currently a visual art teacher at Dassenhoek High School.  

I am also involved in two projects. For one project, I have partnered with Joshua Montile (architect), with whom I collaborated and won the eThekwini Art Prize. We are currently working on a public sculpture for the Durban promenade that will celebrate the city’s uniqueness, beauty and diversity.

The second project is in collaboration with the National Heritage Project (NHP). I am currently sculpting a public figure for them whilst being mentored by Helena Vogelzang. Helena is an incredible sculptor and a great mentor.

 

  • You are an accomplished artist and sculptor. What training and/or qualifications do you have and from where?

I obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art in Sculpture from the Durban University of Technology.

 

  • As a first-time judge, what insights will you bring to the 2018 PPC Imaginarium Awards?

I am interested in new concepts and the manner of their fabrication, as well as how well they relate to the subject and the viewer. 

 

  • What tips do you have for entrants of this year’s PPC Imaginarium Award?

Be original and show a high level of creativity in thought and production. Nothing beats the power of a well-told story.

 

  • Some of the big themes in your art are violence, human rights and communication. What themes or issues are South African artists grappling with in 2018?

I think artists are vocal about themes such as race, gender and politics.  All these themes make up the fabric of society and South African society is being reconstructed to reflect a new identity.

 

  • Who is your biggest artistic influence and why?

Greg Streak, an artist and a lecturer at DUT. I really love his work and he was my thesis supervisor.

 

  • What challenges do you face as an artist in South Africa?

At the moment, as a young emerging artist from Durban, I struggle with two things. The first is the ability to locate my work in the South African art scene. The second involves growing the market for my art practice.

 

  • In your view, what role do platforms such as the PPC Imaginarium Awards play in fostering the SA art/design industry?

Theyplay a crucial role in giving young emerging artists and designers a platform to showcase their works in a broad community of artists, designers, collectors, galleries and so on.

 

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