2018 Recipients of the Standard Bank Young Artists Award

2018 Recipients of the Standard Bank Young Artists Award

The organisers of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award (SBYA) in South Africa have recently announced award recipients for the 2018 edition. Now in its 36th year, the SBYA award is among the country’s leading arts award event conferred by the National Arts Festival and Standard Bank on deserving young South African artists. Recipients were selected by the National Arts Festival Committee, from 6 categories and include creative talents Igshaan Adams (visual art) Chuma Sopotela (performance art), Jemma Kahn (theatre), Thandi Ntuli (jazz), Guy Buttery (music) and Musa Hlatshwayo (dance).

Each winner will receive a cash incentive, as well as support to develop and premiere new works that will be featured at the 2018 edition of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown running from June 28 to July 8.

Established in 1981, the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards is a project of the National Arts Festival that has encouraged the development of South Africa’s cultural treasury. It also helps inspire new generations of artists, performers, and musicians.

Igshaan Adams was born in 1982 in Cape Town, South Africa. Combining aspects of performance, weaving, sculpture, and installation that draw upon his upbringing, his cross-disciplinary practice is an ongoing investigation into hybrid identity, particularly in relation to race and sexuality. Raised by Christian grandparents in a community racially classified as ‘coloured’ under apartheid legislature, he is an observant but liberal Muslim who occupies a precarious place in his religious community because of his homosexuality. As such, the quiet activism of Adams’s work speaks to his experiences of racial, religious and sexual liminality, while breaking with the strong representational convention found in recent South African art. He uses the material and formal iconographies of Islam and ‘coloured’ culture to develop a more equivocal, phenomenological approach towards these concerns and offer a novel, affective view of cultural hybridity.

Chuma Sopotela is an actress, dancer, puppeteer and performing artist from Cape Town, South Africa. As a community activist and educator, under Ikhwezi Theatre Development, she worked with NGO’s such as the Treatment Action Campaign and Médecin Sans Frontieres in the fight against HIV /AIDS. She studied drama at the University of Cape Town obtaining her Performer’s Diploma, majoring in acting, movement, and voice.

Currently based in Johannesburg, Jemma Kahn read fine art and drama at the University of the Witwatersrand before spending two years as a teacher of English in Japan. It was in this context that she learned kamishibai — an illustrated story-telling theatre medium, which draws on ancient Japanese traditions. Kamishibai has strongly influenced Kahn’s theatrical productions, which she performs extensively both nationally and abroad, including The Epicene Butcher and Other Tales for Consenting Adults and We Didn’t Come to Hell for the Croissants.

Thandi Ntuli was born in 1987 in one of South Africa’s largest townships, Soshanguve (Pretoria). She comes from a lineage of rich musical heritage, being the niece of guitarist, pianist and lead vocalist of 70’s pop fusion band Harari (The Beaters), Selby Ntuli. At the tender age of 4, she started taking classical piano lessons under the tutelage of Ada Levkowitz. However, her keen interest in jazz was only kindled later in life, leading her to enrol and complete a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at The University of Cape Town. Since the release of her debut jazz album, ‘The Offering’, which she released independently in 2014, Ntuli is fast making an imprint in the local jazz scene with her unique voice. The album has received critical acclaim as well as numerous awards and recognition such as the MetroFM award nomination for “Best Urban Jazz” in 2015.

Award-winning, internationally recognised guitarist, Guy Buttery enjoys invitations to play all over the world. He has collaborated and shared the stage with many luminaries, such as Missy Higgins, Violent Femmes, Martin Simpson, Jethro Tull, Donovan, Shawn Phillips, Piers Faccini as well as South African legends Vusi Mahlasela, Madala Kunene and Valiant Swart. His international role has surpassed merely performing concerts into one of being an ambassador of South African music, with his distinctive guitar playing a musical advocate for everything positive and beautiful about the place he calls home.

Musa Hlatshwayo is a multi-award winning young choreographer, performer, educator, voice artist with experience in the performing arts and community development. He completed a BA in media and communications, as well as drama and performance studies at the UKZN. Hlatshwayo trained with the Flatfoot Student company for 2 years and received an opportunity to go and train at the Copenhagen School of Modern Dance before returning to UKZN where he received his BA (Honours) in Dance while working as one of the founding members of Flatfoot Dance Company in 2003. Hlatshwayo is passionate about the role of contemporary dance in developing communities and its purpose in fostering dialogue across socio-political divides. He has been seen in various educational institutions locally and abroad as a tutor, guest lecturer, course coordinator and external examiner in the arts departments.




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