Image courtesy of Nyasha Chawatama
By Lindsay Chiswe
National Gallery of Zimbabwe in partnership with the leading cement giant PPC Cement held the first workshop for the PPC imaginarium competition from the 5th to 6th of February 2018 at the gallery in Harare.
The competition which is a first of its kind in Zimbabwe originating from neighbouring South Africa, is a modern art and design competition whose main thrust is to support emerging artists and designers with the opportunity to showcase their mastery through the medium of concrete.
Speaking at the first day of the workshop, Raphel Chikukwa, Acting Director at National Gallery of Zimbabwe, said that, it was indeed a very historic and important moment for the country.
“This Imaginarium workshop is very important and historic because it is the first time it is taking place in this country , this workshop will serve as a guideline towards those who have entered this competition and those who would like to enter this competition which is called PPC Imaginarium” he said.
The first day of the workshop which was attended by various artists was characterised with a lot of theoretical work, from the cement manufacturing process by the PPC technical team, to insights and examples of creative use of cement, to the purpose of the Imaginarium competition by Damianos Grivas and Daniel Van der Mer respectively.
Martin Moyo General Manager at PPC Cement, said that as a company, they were very proud to be associated in this work.
“When you think of cement, the first thing that comes to your mind is a building, but here at PPC, we say innovate, imagine it, you can create or make it using cement. Cement is far much more than buildings.
“The PPC Imaginarium is an example of PPC’s unwavering commitment to its ethos “Strength Beyond the Bag”- going beyond the manufacture and sale of cement to enrich the lives of its staff, communities, and countries across Africa. By creating the PPC Imaginarium Competition, PPC is giving back to the Artistic community, investing in local creatives and artisans, helping them to launch successful careers, supporting and building the arts community”, he said
The workshop will also be held in Mutare at National Gallery from the 7th to 8th and also at National Gallery of Zimbabwe Bulawayo 9th– 10th February respectively.
The PPC Imaginarium Competition is diversely grouped into six categories which include Architecture, Fashion, Film, Industrial Design, Jewellery and Sculpture and the grand prize at stake is R100 000, while category winners and runners –up will get R15 000 and R50 000 rands .
Daniel Van der Mer Architect at PPC Cement, said that the competition main objective was to support emerging artists and designers.
“Like in Zimbabwe or South Africa, art and artists are always the most vulnerable and least supported by governments and companies. So we want to profile, support, expose promote all young emerging artists and designers that are all in the six categories we have,” he said.
Van der Mer also encouraged artists to register online for the competition so as to get assistance and guidance on competition rules.
“I am encouraging artists to register online, so that we can send them emails, do online twittering, help and support them with the making of their art works”, he said.
The finale competitions which will be held sometime in May at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare and the winner’s works will become part of the international exhibition that will pass through South Africa, making it a great opportunity for exposure.
“The Judges for the PPC Imaginarium competition will compromise of two international judges and two well-known local artists who could act as judges to make sure the competition is fair and to make sure work has been judged and has credibility”, said Van der Mer.