Community

Share knowledge. Find answers. Ask questions.

Community blog

Read our latest news and views and get to know us better

SBYA Q&A's to all our winners
Community Coordinator
Read more blogs in

WHAT’S YOUR NEXT CAMPAIGN – SBYA Q & A

 

  1. Chuma Sopotela – 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art

 

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

That I can't say so much is on the plate of an artist. It’s too much to say what is most important.

 

How has your practice changed over time?

I am more and more aware of what I want to achieve. Its harder everyday as it’s becoming more clear. It’s a tall order.

 

What art do you most identify yourself with?

Dance...movement, studying the movement of the body in space and time, context and psychology or understanding.

 

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

I can't say it’s too personal and implicates other people I would rather not mention.

 

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

My pants ripping on stage.

 

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I’ve been a waitress.

 

What makes you angry?

Power hungry people

 

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

"Eat your breakfast" my mom use to say (I still forget but when I do eat I always remember what a great idea it is)

 

What does winning the Standard Bank Young Artist Award mean to you?

It means I have left a legacy for my daughter. I have made it on the list. I will be there for generations to come.

 

  1. Thandi Ntuli - 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

For me I’d say honesty. In all aspects. Mostly being honest with yourself as an artist and from there I think it creates the basis of creating from a pure place.  

 

How has your practice changed over time?

I’ve expanded my pallet so to speak. When I was still a student, my main consumption was Jazz Music. I now find myself deliberately trying to “consume” more by means of attending theatre shows, photography, poetry & literature, other art forms and musical genres. Also I allow myself to go with the flow of my creativity.

 

What art do you most identify yourself with?

Music, definitely. But second to that I’d say between photography and literary work. I love beautiful pictures and words.

 

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

There are a few. I remember my absolute love for Disney Movies. I remember how much my big brother used to love hearing me practice my classical piano songs. I loved drawing and making things. I remember the daunting piano Eistedfodds and how my mother always made me the prettiest dresses to wear. I remember my very strict piano teacher Aunty Ada. I remember always having so much fun at school, and aftercare. I remember when my mom took me shopping for clothes I’d always have to model the clothes at home for my dad in the evening. I remember my dad always used to buy me Peanut snacks when he came back from work. And how my big brother used me as his weights for resistance training, lol. 

 

What’s your most embarrassing moment? 

I don’t get embarrassed very easily. But I remember one day in high school on the first day of term slipping in the courtyard at break time in front of everyone.

 

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

After high school I was a bar tender at a bar called Dogma in Coventry UK (my gap year). Then I was a customer sales advisor at a Bank very briefly. During varsity I worked as a call centre agent for extra cash and also did some data capturing at an events company. I’ve also given piano lessons.

 

What makes you angry?

Injustice, manipulation, dishonesty. 

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

From my grandmother: “Don’t trust yourself, always present your hopes to God and trust him to show you the way.”

From Mam Abigail Khubeka: “ “If you keep a pure heart, this gist (music) can take you places you never imagined.”

Jimmy Dludlu: “Just keep honing your craft. It’ll all happen eventually.”

 

From my mom: “Remember, a woman’s place is in the kitchen. But nowadays the kitchen is a boardroom, hospital, school, parliament, stage.. etc." In other words don’t feel like you need to be ‘like a man’ to do things effectively in spaces that are generally dominated by men.

From my dad: “ If you get resistance from people, pay attention, it means you are doing something right.”

 

What does winning the Standard Bank Young Artist Award mean to you?

The Standard Bank Young Artist award means so many things. Firstly it’s the honor of being recognized as being worthy of an award that has been received by so many people I admire greatly. It certainly is a great boost to my morale to know that the work I do is effective and appreciated. I have seen how many previous SBYA’s have had the awards really boost their career aspirations and many have gone on to do amazing things around the globe and I imagine this award will be a stepping stone for me to grow to the next level and beyond in my work. Of course beyond the recognition, great PR, and amazing opportunities to grow, the resources will be such an incredible aid. Being an independent artist, resources has been one of my greatest challenges. It’s exciting really!! 

  1. Musa Hlatshwayo - 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance

 

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

Honesty, truth, relevance and authenticity.

 

How has your practice changed over time?

I have become bolder in my artistic choices and in the statements that I make. I am a lot more open to diverse reactions in the full knowledge that that which I express is formulated by that which I consider to be personal which in itself is political.  My context is not a universal one and so my work is also going to be received in diverse ways and that is ok. 

 

What art do you most identify yourself with?

Socio-political/ critical contemporary work created to engage the self and the subject in a dialogue. Although I am mostly known to be a dancer and a choreographer, my appreciation for the arts (as influenced by my upbringing, my training and my scholastic education) spreads across genres. In an effort to not therefore repeat myself in my creative processes I do find myself exploring creative spheres across disciplines and genres in an effort to revive my idea of a 'contemporary' performance aesthetic...but i love movement so dance and the use of the physical body; its spirit and its mind combined as a political tool is where I therefore come back to. 

 

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

It has to be the times spent with my father learning how to draw, sing, read, write, recite the months of the year, the 7 planets of the sphere (they were 7 then) at the age of 3. I clearly remember practicing how to touch my ear with the opposite hand over my head. Other than checking the birth certificate and teeth of the child, the hand over the head exercise was one of the tests that was used back then. I practiced it and it seemed easy. I forced my parents to enrol me into school at the age of 4 where I would walk for about an hour through forests, sugarcanes, over hills and valleys on foot just to get to school. I remember it all! 

 

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

To try and get to school before the assembly bell rang at 7:50am, one of my dear dear teachers (Mr Goqo) whom I still am in contact with, announced at afternoon assembly that the government has proposed that school children be paid for arriving before 7am at school and doing their homeworks then if and when they didn't finish at home. Guess who was there before 7am to double check all his homework and things? Me! All other 1500 + school children were obviously smart enough to 'get it'. I loved him too much to think otherwise of his announcement - even though he wasn't even my class teacher. I believed every word he said. I love that paps... Anyway, no one ever knew about this and it is the first time that I share it. 

 

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

When I was about 10 or so I worked in the sugar cane fields for one of my uncles. I also used to help my mother with her sewing. I also worked for my gran - chopping gum trees, peeling them and loading them onto the truck for them to be sold for paper making. When my father realised how much strength I had he then started allowing me to come with him as part of the gang. He was a house builder and so he always people that prepared the concrete for him. I worked for him as well during school holidays and started growing enough confidence to sneak in a block or two on his 'line' every time he took his break and went around the corner. He built all the schools I went to in Maphumulo. He always suspected something funny had gone on as he would look at the line and yell, shout or make funny remarks about why and how 'the stupid bricks' looked so off line. Sometimes he removed them, sometimes he kept them there. So I always celebrated the fact that somewhere in the school's classrooms there was one or two of the bricks or blocks that we laid by me. I guess that's partly why I loved school? Don't know...

 

What makes you angry?

Injustice, prejudice, laziness, abuse of kindness, irresponsibility and arrogance. 

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Stay in your truth. Justice and order will forever shift and change according to how it is manipulated but your truth will always guide you back to your peaceful self. 

 

What does winning the Standard Bank Young Artist Award mean to you?

Being recognised with this award means a lot to me. I have been following Standard Bank's associations with the arts and the role they play in contributing towards the arts through their association with artists like the Standard Bank Young Artists and festivals like the National Arts Festival (and others). I have a deep level of appreciation for the partnerships Standard Bank has has with arts. I therefore feel honoured to be next year's Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance. 

receive this award on behalf of the entire KwaZulu Natal Province and on behalf of the contemporary Dance Theatre sector and can only look forward (in positive anticipation) to the many things that will come out of this.

 

This opportunity also offers me an opportunity to create and stage work that will hopefully address the socio-political ills that we are currently going through, particularly in KwaZulu Natal, without forgetting to celebrate and embrace that which we are successfully achieving and thriving for as South Africans. This is an opportunity for my artistic voice as a young black man from rural Maphumulo, to continue being heard and perhaps to be introduced to a wider audience. I also take it as a challenge and an invitation for me to stand taller, speak louder and walk bolder towards a wider global community that associates with Standard Bank as a brand as well as the National Arts Festival as a platform for world class critical arts.

 

This is also a chance for me to represent the dance sector and perhaps to invite the attention and intervention of a wider community of contributors to the state of dance and the role of the dance makers, particularly in the province and the communities where I come from. It is an opportunity for the spotlight to shine on the dance sector in KZN and an opportunity for us to be seen for what we stand for, what we are capable of and what we should be received as; social scientists and agents of change. It is our moment to pose the necessary questions amongst ourselves as dance makers, to raise questions to the government, the state funded institutions and the corporate businesses who should take example from Standard Bank.

 

This is also an opportunity for me to hopefully continue bringing active intervention and invitation to community of Maphumulo, where I come from, for them to understand and appreciate the value that the arts play in our society. It is a chance to enforce the seriousness of contemporary dance (and art) and the need for the practice, promotion and the preservation of contemporary dance theatre in our society. I'm hoping that opportunity allows me to exemplify how contemporary dance theatre practice, in a developing society, should be seen as a much needed career path which is as vital, a career path as any other - after all we are social scientists practicing through the medium of that which is informed and influenced by life.

 

  1. Igshaan Adams - 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art    

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

         Playful experimentation is integral to making art.

 

         How has your practice changed over time?

         For the past two years I have started working with assistants who does most of the weaving in studio. Creating work through others has added an interesting and complex dynamic that can be deeply frustrating yet rewarding, productive and fun.

 

         What art do you most identify yourself with?

         I identify with 3D work, sculpture and installation mostly.

 

         What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

         My brother and I would make our own toys with whatever we could find around the house: as little boys we were able to sew  and knit; we made bags, scarfs, pencil cases, often mending broken cloths. In our grandfathers workshop we built “waantjies” (wooden cars), catapults, toy guns, money boxes and tree houses and we would often build make-shift shacks in the backyard.

 

         What’s your most embarrassing moment?

         Telling someone I liked them romantically and being laughed at in response.

 

         What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

         I was a Handyman/Gardener for many years. I also worked in a KFC, sold black refuse bags door-to-door, loaded pallets onto trucks for a long distance courier company, and other physical jobs

 

         What makes you angry? 

         Being profiled.

 

         What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

         ”Always under promise and over deliver”

 

What does winning the Standard Bank Young Artist Award mean to  you?

It has allowed me to relax, by which I mean that being recognized in this way provides me with the reassurance that I am on the right path and can continue my exploration with less anxiety.

 

  1. Jemma Kahn2018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

Being able to be hard on yourself, but when something is not emerging easily, to know to be kind to yourself also. Slow down, get distracted. 

 

How has your practice changed over time?

It becomes more ambitious with each new project, but I would say the basic elements of my work have been there since I was a kid.

 

What art do you most identify yourself with?

I make theatre but identify most strongly with traditional visual arts mediums - painting, drawing and print making. 

 

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

 Lucky as I was to have a loving and easy childhood, my strongest childhood memories are

 

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

I am very bad at remembering people's names - so I am embarrassed every time I go out in public.

 

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I've been a data capturer, an English teacher in Japan, an Art Dept. assisstant in advertising (this was the worst job), a baby sitter and a house sitter. I was a very good house sitter because I always put everything back exactly as I had found it. 

 

What makes you angry? 

 People who take more than they deserve, who don't think about anyone but themselves.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

When I planned on doing an MA I asked one of my favourite lecturers for a reference letter. He said 'Why do you want to do an MA?' I said 'Because I want to make art.' He said, 'Get a studio, it's cheaper.'

 

What does winning the Standard Bank Young Artist Award mean to  you?

This award means that other people think that what I am doing has value. I am very moved by this, very grateful.

 

Read more blogs in