The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Fine Art BTech student, Kenneth Shandu joined the long list of recipients of the prestigious Emma Smith Art Scholarship Award after he was announced as the 2018 winner at a ceremony held at City Campus recently.
Shandu who hails from KwaMbonambi, a small town 30 km north of Richards Bay said he entered the competition after he was asked by Fine Art Department to participate since he was one of the department’s top performing students for the year 2018. “I have always wanted to enter this competition and compete with other disciplines, but above everything what I wanted was to showcase my work under the Emma Smith Art Scholarship and be one of the nominees,” said the art student.
Shandu said his work explores issues of social exclusion with a particular focus on the homeless people in Durban. Through his work he is able to express his views, opinions, and experiences as an observer of the homeless people in the city. “I use metaphors to subvert stereotypes about marginalised people. I make use of a range of disciplines including; drawings, sculpture, and printmaking. In particular, I explore my concept using cardboard in conjunction with other materials such as fabrics, wood, glass, steel, and sound. Cardboard is a reoccurring material that features in a number of my artworks. Through the manipulation of materials, I attempt to show the anonymous position of homeless people. My artworks influenced by Diane Victor, Kay Hassan, and Anselm Kiefer,” he said.
The 26 – year – old who has a registered business called Bhuju Art and Design which specialises in print and vinyl print on fabric said he will use his R50 000 prize money to buy equipment for his business. “This will allow me to produce a good quality of prints for my clients and that will help me to print for large scale projects, and sustain in the art business sector. This business helps me and contribute to my artworks financially,” he said.
Shandu’s future hopes include being a well – recognised artist and be able to make a living from his art. “I think it wasn’t a mistake for me to choose art. Since art is my best language to communicate and engage with the issues around society. Being awarded the Emma Smith Scholarship, came at the right time and I will use it as my ticket of getting recognition through my production,” he concluded.
The other students who took part in this year’s competition were Lungile Dlamini (Interior Design), Emilia Sarupdeo (Fashion and Textile Design), Yasmein Mackey (Fine Art), Tendai Rogers Chiwandamira (Graphic Design), Nick Ntuli (Graphic Design), Sinazo Gumede (Interior Design), Callen Miller (Jewellery Design), and ZamaZulu Mtshali (Video Technology).
The Emma Smith Scholarship Award was introduced in 1920 by KwaZulu – Natal Sugar Industry Magnate Sir Charles Smith. Named after his mother, Smith’s endowment was made in appreciation of the work of visionary Art School Head, John Adams.
Pictured: 2018 Emma Smith Art Scholarship winner, Kenneth Shandu with his winning creation which explored the issues of social exclusion. (Pic by: Tshayile Media).