The first winner of the SPI National Portrait Award will receive a monetary prize of R100,000. The award is offered in association with the Rust-end-Vrede Gallery and is open to anyone resident in South Africa older than 21 years.

  • 11 April 2013
  • General


Entries should be received by 19 August 2013. The award ceremony will take place on 27 August 2013 at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville, where the selected works will be on exhibition and open for public viewing from 28 August 2013 until 8 October 2013. Sanlam Private Investments (SPI) has announced a diverse panel of judges for the inaugural SPI National Portrait Award.

The award was launched to celebrate and showcase the best of original portraiture in South Africa. The panel is made up of Hayden Proud (curator for painting and sculpture at the Iziko South African National Gallery), Vulendlela Nyoni (lecturer in printmaking at the University of Stellenbosch) and Judith Mason (veteran celebrated artist). Entries close on 19 August 2013 and the winner will be announced on 27 August.

Stefan Hundt, head of Sanlam Private Investments’ Art Advisory Service and convenor of the panel, says the robust conversation sparked by the Kate Middleton portrait recently has strongly highlighted the important place portraiture holds in the contemporary art world. “The award has already attracted significant interest in the South African art space and we are extremely pleased with the calibre of judges we have attracted.”

He said Hayden Proud is an accomplished portraitist himself whose views as an art historian, curator and experienced painter will be invaluable. “Judith Mason, an internationally celebrated mixed medium artist, has long been a highly respected, influential player in the art world. She brings with her an artist’s point of view. Printmaker and University of Stellenbosch lecturer, Vulendlela Nyoni is a young artist who has made his mark in the contemporary art world and will bring a youthful perspective to judging the works entered.”

Hundt said it was particularly pleasing that the panel comprised such diverse, experienced and knowledgeable individuals. “We are also completely comfortable that the judge’s views will be independent.”

Judges biographies
About Hayden Proud

Hayden Proud was born in Zimbabwe and studied Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town (UCT), later teaching art history there. He undertook postgraduate studies at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Hayden was first appointed curator of historical collections at the South African National Gallery (SANG). With the latter’s amalgamation into Iziko Museums in 2001, his brief was extended to include the curatorship of the Michaelis Collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings at Cape Town’s Old Town House. His curatorial expertise covers wide areas of the Iziko Art Collections Department, which also features British art and major holdings of 19th- and 20th-century South African art. He has been supervising improvements to the Old Town House building and its facilities, as well as several conservation projects on the collection. Promoting the Old Master tradition in a time of demands for transformation in post-apartheid South Africa is not without its challenges.

He works strategically with the Michaelis Collection to make it relevant to a new generation of South Africans. His strategies involve integrating the Michaelis Collection within thematic exhibitions and promoting it as a site for debate on the colonial past and the transformational present, as well as a dialogue between historical and contemporary art.

About Judith Mason

Judith Mason was born in Pretoria in 1938. She attended the University of Witwatersrand from 1957 and obtained a BA Degree in Fine Art in 1960. Her first solo show was in 1964.

Today, with a career that spans 45 years, Judith Mason is one of South Africa’s most distinguished artists, working in traditional media: oil painting, pencil drawing, print-making and mixed media. Mason is a technically disciplined artist, her technique, which does not rely on exterior processes, is sometimes mistaken for photographic tromp l’oeil effect.

In the 1970s and 80s, for more than a decade, while represented by the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mason was highly visible in the South African art world at a time when the country was isolated both politically and culturally from the rest of the world. Even so, she was chosen to represent South Africa at the Venice Biennale, Art Basel and other international art fairs. She taught drawing and History of Art at Witwatersrand University from 1963 until 1978. In the early 1990s, South Africa became a democracy, and Judith returned from living and teaching in Florence, Italy. At this time, her work became part of the National South African School and University curricula and she also taught drawing and painting at Michaelis School of Art in Cape Town for a short time.

She chose rather to produce work as an outsider and to exhibit less frequently, occasionally showing with the Karen McKerron Gallery in Johannesburg and the Chelsea Gallery in Cape Town. Still prolific well into in the 21st century, Mason has exhibited selectively with Art On Paper in Johannesburg, the Pretoria Arts Association, and East End Gallery, East Hampton, New York and at Art Basel Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

Her work is represented in all the major South African National art collections and museums and internationally represented in both private and public collections in Europe, The United States of America and Australia including Yale University, and The Bodleian Library, Oxford.

About Vulindlela Philani Elliott Nyoni

Vulindlela Nyoni was born in Chilimanzi, Zimbabwe in 1976 and attained a Bachelor of Arts in the Fine Arts from the then University of Natal in 1998 and a Masters in fine Arts from the now University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2006. His Masters thesis was entitled “Representations of ‘other’ in selected South African artworks: Remembering the black male body”.

Nyoni is a Lecturer at the Department of Visual Art at the University of Stellenbosch after lecturing at UKZN since 2001. His move to Stellenbosch was prompted by his need to pursue good quality teaching and to challenge himself with new research opportunities. Apart from being a practicing artist, Nyoni also lectures in printmaking and drawing. His main interests lie in the politics of representation and self-representation as exploration of personal narrative through print media. He has shown widely on a national level and continues to expand his international profile. He continues to make his own work at any opportunity he has.

About Sanlam Private Investments

Sanlam Private Investments (SPI) is a private client wealth management business which engages on an individual basis with high net worth individuals and their families to design, deliver and personally manage bespoke investment solutions for both South African and international clients.

SPI provides a comprehensive and holistic suite of integrated wealth management services, including multi-asset class investment advice, stockbroking and portfolio management, fiduciary and tax services, a range of non-transactional banking services, and South Africa’s first specialist art advisory service.

Established in 1999 and headquartered in Cape Town, the SPI team comprises 400 people across 23 international offices, managing R120bn in assets under management and administration for 30,000 clients.


SPI National Portrait Award

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