The Na­tional Craft Awards are back

CityPress - - News - GARRETH VAN NIEKERK garreth.van­niek­erk@city­press.co.za Crafters want­ing to en­ter should send a pho­to­graph of their work to Jan Bhuda, who can be con­tacted on 083 719 1731, or to Bo­erma on ar­taid@lan­tic.net, along with their name and sur­name. To give judge

Are you a mean weaver? Can you bead with your eyes closed? Does sil­ver­smithing make your heart pound, and wood­work make your knees go week?

Well, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Af­ter a 10-year hia­tus, the Na­tional Craft Com­pe­ti­tion has re­turned to South Africa, of­fer­ing the coun­try’s crafters nearly R100 000 in prize money.

Or­gan­ised by the cre­ative team be­hind the In­ni­bos Na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val, the craft awards jury – made up of some of the coun­try’s prin­ci­pal craft ad­vo­cates, in­clud­ing the de­part­ment of arts and cul­ture’s craft spe­cial­ist, Joseph Mathe, gal­lerist and pot­ter Kim Sacks, busi­ness guru and part­ner in Lu­mi­nance Judy Dlamini and artist Willem Boshoff – will de­cide who the win­ner will be.

John An­thony Bo­erma, di­rec­tor of Art Aid Africa (a plat­form for crafters) and one of the or­gan­is­ers, says the judg­ing panel fo­cuses heav­ily on the re­tail sec­tor be­cause the end goal of the com­pe­ti­tion is trans­for­ma­tion.

“We looked specif­i­cally at the re­tail mar­ket be­cause it gives the crafter the op­por­tu­nity to en­ter the re­tail mar­ket, get money and start cre­at­ing jobs. There is no sus­tain­abil­ity if there is no money in the cre­ative in­dus­tries,” Bo­erma says.

“I used to work for the de­part­ment of arts and cul­ture in the crafts sec­tor and in the time that I was there, I saw loads of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the cre­ative sec­tor. I think it’s im­por­tant to bring peo­ple into the cre­ative in­dus­try, it will solve a lot of prob­lems in so­ci­ety.”

But how will the judges de­cide be­tween what is craft, de­sign, and art?

“We strug­gle with that dis­tinc­tion, but once the en­tries come in, the judges will dis­tin­guish what is craft and what isn’t from there,” Bo­erma says.

“But I per­son­ally think that craft is some­thing that you pro­duce, know­ingly, and with a pas­sion for tech­ni­cal skill.”

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

EA­GER WEAVER Ethiopia Ethiopian Habe­sha bas­kets for sale at a lo­cal mar­ket in Addis Ababa,

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