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Artists Gear Up For 2019 PPC Imaginarium Awards

The annual PPC Imaginarium Awards is gearing up for its 2019 edition in Zimbabwe. Online registrations that opened in July 2018 were closed 30 November 2018 and all is set for the next phase of the competition that is open to entrants in the creative arts.

This prestigious competition challenges artists to test their skills and produce innovative works using Portland cement-based concrete. They battle it out to win substantial cash prizes, mentorship opportunities and their share of publicity.

The PPC Imaginarium Awards focus on the use of the concrete medium as an art form and was launched in Zimbabwe in 2017 to an overwhelming response from local artists and creative practitioners. The medium of concrete presents an exciting new challenge for artists within Zimbabwe, a country well-known for its iconic soapstone sculptures.

Launched by PPC Ltd, a renowned cement company, the awards give emerging artists the chance to showcase their talent and creative thinking across the competition’s six categories, namely film, fashion, jewellery, sculpture, architecture and industrial design.

The competition is run in Zimbabwe and South Africa, where it is now in its 5th year, and has seen many of its past entrants and finalists go on to become recognised in the art and business community.

A rigorous process to prepare entrants will take place in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare under the auspices of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. This will be a series of free workshops will be held between 15 and 25 January 2019.

These intensive workshops are focused on exploring the technical elements of working with concrete. Participants will be taught skills such as creating moulds and how to apply different techniques. At the end of the workshops, participants will be given PPC cement and Chryso products to assist them with completing their physical submissions.

Once completed, the physical submissions will judged, and the winning entries for each category announced at a Gala Event at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare, pencilled for the 30 May 2019.

In the inaugural competition in Zimbabwe, the bulk of the works entered were in Sculpture and Fashion. Victor Nyakauru won the Sculpture Prize with his work Bread and Butter Issues, while Sandra Matamisa clinched the Fashion Award with her piece called New Dispensation. Neville Starling and Ska Sebata got honorable mention awards with Whose Memory, Whose Place and Untitled respectively.

These works were then exhibited at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. The cooperation between PPC Ltd and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe gained recognition at the 2018 Business and Arts South Africa Awards, with a nomination for the Beyond Borders Partnership Award.

The PPC Imaginarium Awards are an annual competition open to artists, designers and architecture students living in South Africa and Zimbabwe, including resident holders and foreign students with study permits living in both countries. The competition is open to entrants who must not be established professionally in their respective industries.

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