Harare — Cement manufacturer, PPC Cement is sponsoring an art and design competition targeting emerging artists and designers who will showcase their talent through the medium of concrete.
In a statement released last weekend, National Gallery of Zimbabwe representative, Zvikomborero Mandangu said the competition will present an opportunity for upcoming artists to showcase their talents while responding to a themed medium.
"The first edition of the PPC Imaginarium Zimbabwe competition included a range of programmes and workshops, which were held in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare, to help develop local artistic skills through equipping local artists to work with cement," she said.
"Artists and designers living in Zimbabwe are eligible to enter the PPC Imaginarium competition, including resident holders and foreign students with study permits living in Zimbabwe, who are not professionally established in their respective fields."
Mandangu said artists who previously entered the competition in South African, from where it originated, were also eligible to enter the Harare event.
"The PPC Imaginarium Competition is grouped into six categories which include Architecture, Fashion, Film Industrial Design Jewellery and Sculpture," said Mandangu.
"In the Fashion competition interested designers are expected to conceptualise a mini-collection that uses Portland cement-based concrete as a medium combined with other materials, such as textiles, leather, wood, bronze and glass.
"For the Film competition, prospective participants are expected to come up with a short film idea that investigates the role that concrete or cement plays in creating our environments."
She continued; "You are allowed to experiment within genres, but should be able to motivate your approach conceptually.
"In the sculpture competition competitors must conceptualise a sculpture that embraces not only single-medium, three-dimensional objects, but also mixed-media installation art. Final pieces must demonstrate an understanding of concrete as an artistic medium.
"In the jewellery competition participants must create a single jewellery piece that is visually appealing and uses the medium of jewellery to reflect an understanding of concrete. The entry must be wearable concrete as an artistic medium."
Mandangu said three workshops would be held from the 24th to the 26th of November in Harare and Mutare, with final entries for the Jewellery, Sculpture, Architecture and Design and Fashion competitions closing on December 1.
She said film entries would close on December 31 with the announcement of winners scheduled for April 2018 and the runners up and winners in Architectural category competition will be announced in May 2018.
"This is an open call to Zimbabwean artist to execute their expertise in art. 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 are investing in local creatives and artisans, helping them to launch successful careers and supporting and building the arts community."
Each of the six category winners will receive a cash prize of R50,000 or the equivalent in United States dollars, with runners-up walking away with R15,000 each.
The overall winner will receive the grand prize of R100,000, in addition to winning the respective category prize.