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Meet the Judges – Mary Sibande, 2018

Acclaimed sculptor Mary Sibande joins the PPC Imaginarium national judging panel for a second time!


Renowned sculptor and visual artist Mary Sibande is returning to judge the national finalists of the 2018 PPC Imaginarium Awards. Born in 1982, Sibande has garnered countless accolades and is a valuable addition to the national judging panel of the 2018 PPC Imaginarium Awards.

The South African art industry is ripe for new voices, says Sibande, whose work draws on personal stories from her own life and those of her ancestors, many of whom served as domestic workers. “There is great potential to develop truly South African narratives,” she says.

As an artist, Sibande poses questions about the nature of the human body, specifically how to reclaim the black female body in post-colonial and post-apartheid South Africa. Of her art-pieces, her most prominent include Sophie, a figure resembling Sibande and which stands for blackness, femininity, labour and post-coloniality.

“The country is a vibrant, fertile place for dynamic views,” she affirms. “I find that there is great excitement with new and emerging voices, who will determine their own experiences in the world.”

In 2013, Sibande was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award. She has received research fellowships from a number of major international institutions, including the Smithsonian Institute, the University of Michigan and the Ampersand Foundation. Between 2009 and 2018, her works appeared at L’Exposition du Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres (Dakar), Iziko South African National Gallery (Cape Town), Kiasma Museum for Contemporary Art (Helsinki), Lyon Biënnale and the Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne (Paris).

While her works have indeed achieved a level of fame, Sibande believes that the associated glamour that comes with being recognised as an artist is only a fraction of what an artist must achieve in his/her lifetime. “The rest is hard work, dedicated to developing ideas, research and validating one’s practice.”

Sibande’s ground-breaking works of contemporary art are a testament to her devotion and seriousness in regard to the South African arts industry. The PPC Imaginarium Awards welcomes her back to the national judging panel!

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