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Zelda Stroud, a part-time lecturer at the Tshwane University of Technology’s Department of Fine and Applied Art, is the runner-up of this year’s Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) Young Concrete Sculptor Awards (YCSA). She won prize money of R25 000. Lwandiso Njara and Ncendani Fobo, a B Tech and second-year student at the same department, received merit awards of R5 000 each. 

The YCSA started as one of PPC’s centenary celebrations 21 years ago, in partnership with the Association of Arts Pretoria. It is the longest running art competition of its kind in South Africa and a platform for emerging artists to bring their vision to life through the medium of concrete. The theme for this year’s competition was Re-imagine concrete.

 Zelda Stroud with her artwork, Breastplate.
Commentary on manipulation of women
Zelda’s winning piece is a chainmail breastplate comprising small concrete breasts precisely pieced together by silver links. It is ceremoniously draped over an altar-like plinth covered in illegible text.

The piece provides scathing commentary on the manipulation of women to achieve an impossible degree of perfection. It expresses the social and economic manipulation of women by the media in search of the ultimate woman, resulting in financial and emotional distress.
Zelda is a well-decorated artist with several awards to her name, among others a merit award at the 2012 Sasol New Signatures art competition. She spent a number of years teaching sculpting, life drawing and art history at tertiary level, while building architectural models and sculptured waxwork figures for museums.

 Lwandiso Njara’s sculpture deals with the 
 clash between Christianity and traditional 
 cultural norms.
Christianity vs Tradition
In his work, Lwandiso explores spiritual awakening and development during his boyhood years in the Mpondo Valley in rural Transkei. He takes a deeper look at the differences between Christianity and tradition, by being critical and open about the vast contradictions that surround his world.

The sculpture depicts a goat infused with mechanical cogs, whicht reflects Lwandiso’s Xhosa cultural beliefs and their hybridisation with Western technological ways of being. It brings together the realms in which he was raised – portrayed by a sacrificial goat with internal organs replaced by a gearbox.

Earlier this year, he bagged the 25th Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Award and prize money of R30 000.

With his sculpture, Ncendani Fobo takes a firm stand against rhino
A firm stance against Rhino poaching
Ncendani’s award-winning sculpture comprises a syringe made from glass and is labelled with the statistics of rhinos killed in past years. The syringe is filled with a number of rhino horns made of concrete to depict the drugs used to sedate the endangered species. The needle is shaped like a horn and the plunger is that of a hand-saw, representing the shocking truth of how the horn is horrifically removed from the animal

A total of 16 of the 34 works on exhibition were entered by TUT staff, students and alumni. For this achievement, the Department received R10 000.

The PPC YCSA exhibition runs until 20 November at the Association of Arts Pretoria, 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Friday from 09:00 to 18:00 and Saturdays from 09:00 to 14:00. Kay Potts, National Chairperson of PPC YCSA, will conduct a walkabout on Saturday, 17 November, at 11:00.

For more media information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact:

Willa de Ruyter
Tel: 012 382 5352