• 16 March 2021 - 11 April 2021
  • Main Gallery, Media Gallery, Mezzanine Gallery, Park Gallery

Historically, the mask has been recognized as a novelty or rare occurrence however today, a mask has become an essential part of the bits and pieces with which we leave home. Widely acknowledged as one of the easiest and most effective ways to slow down the spread of air-borne infections (although a minority of society fears they are part of an effort to wield authority), masks have long formed part of our cultural, social and emotional landscapes. Different societies make use of the mask as either part of a religious ritual and ceremony or within rites of passage. 

Exhibition Dates: 16 March - 11 April 2021
Opening Event and Prize Giving: Tuesday 16 March from 17.30

While some masks are seen as a type of mediation with the spirit world, others disguise the identity of penitent worshipers, and the creation of all such masks are art-forms in their own right. Masks that obscure identity are not only used by activists, criminals and witnesses in court, as well as vigilante groups, but also occur in theater, fashion and role play of various kinds.

While "mask" is both a noun and a verb, used to convey concealment, the origins of the English word are contested, and possibly derive from medieval Latin for "spectre or nightmare", or alternatively a Spanish phrase meaning "added face".Both terms hint at an interior aspect of masks that are linked to identity, psychology and to the different sides of our personalities which are brought to the fore depending on the context. 


Participants must be members of the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts. Update Membership online here.

Medium: Work can be 2D or 3D and any medium, including digital, performance and sound.

Size: Dimensions of work cannot exceed 1.5 m in height, width or depth.

Date: Artworks must be made in 2021 in response to the theme for the KZNSA Members' Competition.

Artist statement: Participants are to provide a written statement about their interpretation of the theme with their submission with a completed entry form.

Important Dates:



Thursday 04 March and Friday 05 March 09.00 - 16.00

Saturday 06 March 09.00 - 15.00

No late submissions will be accepted.



Tuesday 16 March from17h30

Please note the KZNSA Exhibition sub-committee reserves the right to select work for the judges' consideration.


View Theme Brief here

Click here for Entry Form

You are welcome to engage with us should you have any concerns around curatorial challenges such as installation, projections, conceptual work, performance etc.

Prize money to the value of R20 000 and the Joan Emanuel floating trophy will be awarded on the opening night. The KZNSA wises to thank the Emanuel family for their generous donation of prize money.

Share on social media

Gallery   Tues–Fri 09.00-17.00 | Sat 09.00-16.00 | Sun 09.00-15.00

Café   Tues - Fri 08.00-17.00 | Sat 08.00-16.00 | Sun 09.00-15.00

Shop   Tues–Fri 09.00-17.00 | Sat 09.00-16.00 | Sun 09.00-15.00