AfriSam recently announced the winners of its inaugural ConCreativity challenge at a prestigious awards ceremony held at Zeitz MOCAA, the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world.
Celebrating the various forms and potential of concrete, ConCreativity invited South Africans to capture the beauty of concrete through the lens of a camera.
“At AfriSam we believe it is not what concrete makes, but rather what concrete makes possible. ConCreativity provided us with the opportunity to showcase the splendour of concrete, as captured by others”, says Ebeth van den Berg, AfriSam Group Marketing Manager.
From May to July 2018, entrants could submit their images according to the three monthly themes of existing spaces, abstraction and architecture.
With more than 1 000 beautiful entries received, the judges had the difficult task of selecting 18 finalists (6 per month) and from these, the final three winners. The photos of all 18 finalists are currently on display until 24 December 2018 as part of the ConCreativity exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA – a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Congratulations and well done to the following winners who captured the possibilities that concrete represents.
WINNER: “Iris” by Lesedi Goulanka (Category – Abstraction)
“Taking pictures broadens my perspective of life and changes the way I view things. I find comfort and joy through a camera lens. The sun doesn’t set without me taking a picture.”
Lesedi Goulanka is a 17-year-old aspiring photographer and entrepreneur who lives in Soweto. As a child, he would use his mother’s phone to take pictures and edit them to a professional level, an activity that helped him realise his passion for photography.
‘Iris’ depicts a staircase viewed through multiple circles carved out of concrete walls. He states that the stairs represent his goals and ambitions, whereas the circles are the obstacles that he needs to overcome in order to reach them. Much like a work of art, concrete and the entities that it forms may be interpreted in countless different ways. Thus portraying the medium as both highly functional, and infinitely beautiful.
2nd PLACE: “Under Pressure” by Unathi Mamane (Category – Architecture)
“Photography is the universal language of our era.”
Unathi Mamane is a busy, vibrant and goal-orientated young woman who recently qualified as a professional accountant. Over the past few years she has developed an immense passion for photography, which she uses as an outlet to express her imperfections, fears and quirks. “The photos I take every day teach people to look again, look harder and truly see through their eyes,” she says.
Her image, titled ‘Under Pressure’, depicts concrete slabs that effortlessly balance and support the weight of a building. These slabs inspired her; she knew that they were more than the physical representation of mathematics – they revealed the true poetry of architectural concepts. Mamane was mesmerised by the way that the concrete slabs create an architectural masterpiece that is both functional as well as purposeful.
3rd PLACE: “Urban Treasures” by Stephan van Wyk (Category – Existing Spaces)
Stephan van Wyk runs a small design studio in Cape Town with his wife and 3 dogs. He inherited his 35mm camera, which is the root of his passion for photography, from his father when he was in high school. It took many years of exploring photographic techniques and tinkering for Stephan to reach this level of mastery, but it was made possible through sheer hard work and his eagerness to accept new challenges.
His captured image titled ’Urban Treasures’ showcases the iconic Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl. The intricate play of line, shape and texture of the structure played central roles in making this photograph so significant.
He states, “I am most content viewing life through a lens and I always try to tell a story or capture an emotion in time. There is so much beauty around us – we only need to take the time to see it.”
In addition to having their winning photos featured as part of the ConCreativity exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA, the three winners each walked away with their share of professional photographic equipment.
“We are extremely proud of ConCreativity and the manner in which it has highlighted the important role concrete plays in our everyday lives. Each entry we received not only demonstrated the functional value of concrete, but beautifully depicted how concrete has positively impacted the world around us. It perfectly echoes AfriSam’s philosophy that there is so much more to concrete than cement, stone and water. It truly does create possibilities. We look forward to hosting another round of ConCreativity in 2019”, concludes Van den Berg.