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We catch up with the creator of this year's winning sculpture in the 2015/2016 PPC Imaginarium Awards, Janna Kruger.


Balancing delicacy and strength through an artful pairing of rods and spheres, Janna Kruger’s Monument – Intimacy has made him the 2015/2016 PPC Imaginarium Sculpture Category winner. The remarkable work, comprised entirely of reinforced concrete, is not only a technical feat of note, but also a nuanced examination of the complexity of interpersonal relationships. Drawing on his background in structural engineering, Janna, who has additional experience in graphic design and multimedia authorship, was able to create a harmonious cohesion of elements. We spoke to the emerging sculptor about what inspires him and the challenges of the project.


What inspires you about the medium of cement?

Working with cement has been a hobby of mine for nearly three years now. I have a growing collection of moulds and different textures that I use to cast and shape concrete objects. The main traits of concrete, its corrosiveness and limited workable time window, totally contradict my personality. Therefore I enjoy the challenges of interacting with it. I really enjoy the anticipation of seeing the hidden object as it cures in its mould, and how each object comes out with slight variations from the others. Very rewarding!

Did you encounter any challenges whilst working on your submission?

My prototype ball was so heavy that it broke the unit that I’d built to rotate it in while shaping it. I was barely able to lift it by myself, and it was only one of the four balls I planned to combine. So I had to find ways to make it much lighter to pass the weight criteria for the sculpture.

Janna Kruger

What inspires you about South Africa and what are your thoughts on the South African creative scene?

Fortunately my hope and expectation in life is not anchored in our current socio-political landscape. Given the choice however, I would prefer to be nowhere else in the world, and I am grateful for the opportunities that present themselves here in South Africa. I am inspired by the vastness and beauty of our land, and most of all, the people I encounter on the way. I have not been actively involved in the South African creative scene, but hopefully that will soon change.

Who are the designers that have had a strong influence on your work?

I am more influenced by artists than by designers, locally these include the early works of Willem Boshoff, and Alex Trapani. Antony Gormley, Alexander Calder and Hiroyuki Hamada are some of the artists that I have been looking at (again) lately.

Can I confess that I also spend hours on Pinterest?

What plans do you have for the future and how to you intend on using your prize money?

My plans are to make the most of the exposure and momentum I will get from being part of the PPC Imaginarium Awards. I will continue using sculpture as a means of distilling and communicating concepts that I wrestle with, while also testing the waters of Industrial Design and filmmaking when opportunities arise.

I am still dealing with the great privilege and surprise of winning the prize money. Equipping our garage as a studio, and investing in some much needed hard- and software is my current priority.

To find out more about Janna’s work click here.

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