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David Jones bought his wealth of technical expertise to this year’s PPC Imaginarium judging panel - we caught up with him to find out more about his involvement.


Respected arts educator, David Jones is Head of Department of Studio Arts at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. As a judge for the 2015/2016 PPC Imaginarium Awards, we asked him to share more on his creative journey:

Please fill us in a bit on your background?

I have taught sculpture at the NMMU since 1992. Before that, I worked in retailing, marketing, and management, various odd jobs, and an art foundry. I teach, administer, make art, curate and am engaged in the public art processes and projects in the Nelson Mandela Metro.

Why do you think that you were chosen as a PPC Imaginarium judge?

Our sculpture studios have produced three PPC Winners and a number of merit awards over the past twenty odd years, and in all three of the competition’s iterations. We regularly use cement as a casting, facing and direct modelling material, and countless NMMU students have attended PPC cement workshops. In this way, our relationship with PPC has been on-going and enthusiastic, and I hope that it is this engagement which has elicited the invitation to be part of the new competition and judging process.


What is the professional achievement that you are most proud of to date?

A Teaching (NMMU Sculpture student) / Public (Mandela Bay Development Agency-MBDA) partnership where the student collective delivered a public art work, of some 17 life-sized figures and sculptural elements called “Conversations with the Queen”. This was temporally installed in 2014, and various elements cast in bronze in 2015, with the intention of installing these in a renegotiated composition in 2016/17.

Students were paid a realistic amount and the final artwork was assessed as part of their portfolios.

What excites and inspires you about South African creative talent?

Raw talent abounds, and opportunities for the development and reward of this talent have grown enormously over the past ten years. These talented individuals still have to compete for the rewards; however opportunities for success are real and many, and the public are most supportive.

Any advice for the PPC Imaginarium entrants?

Explore the fabulous potential of cement as a sculpture material; experiment by researching the PPC website and related information, and master this material cement through trial and error. This mastery, combined with your great idea, will deliver engaging (maybe even winning) sculpture.

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