Standard Bank Young Artists for 2016

23 Jun 2016 - 15:15

Theatre director and designer and UCT alumnus is one of 5 recipients of the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist Award. She juggles a job at the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation with her own production company. (Image appears courtesy of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award)

Two University of Cape Town alumni are set to make waves at this year’s National Arts Festival. Jade Bowers and Mohau Modisakeng were among a handful of artists to receive the Standard Bank Young Artists Award for 2016. 

Established in 1981 by the National Arts Festival, the annual Standard Bank Young Artist Awards are given to emerging South African artists who are making a unique contribution in their respective fields within the Arts. It is a big deal. Recipients are given a place in the festival’s main programme, receive a generous cash prize as well as financial support to help them stage productions, mount and exhibit their work, or open up their music to larger audiences.  In 2016, there are only five recipients of this award.  

Bowers obtained a Bachelor of Social Science degree majoring in Sociology and Drama from UCT in 2010. After graduating from UCT, she went on to obtain an Honours degree in Theatre Design and Directing from the University of the Witwatersrand. She currently works as a theatrical rights administrator at the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation and, runs her own production company specialising in directing, designing and stage management. Her work includes being part of the team that staged Ashraf Johaardien’s adaption of K Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams, a solo work Salaam Stories, and her reworking of Rehane Abrahams’s script What the Water Gave Me, which earned her a Silver Ovation Award at the 2014. Bowers was also named one of AfriPop’s Five Female Theatre Makers in South Africa You Should Know.

Multi-disciplinary artist Modisakeng obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art degree  from the University of Cape Town in 2009 and is currently completing a Masters in Fine Art degree at the same institution. (Image appears courtesy of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award)

Mohau Modisakeng has received numerous accolades for his work to date. In 2011, he scooped the coveted Sasol New Signatures award – the longest running national art competition in South Africa. Solo exhibitions at Kunstraum Innsbruck in Austria and at Big Pond Artworks in Munich, Germany followed. His work has also been exhibited in Lagos, Nigeria, at the Archer Gallery in Vancouver, Canada, and in Cape Town at the Chavonnes Battery Museum in partnership with Zeitz MOCAA. He has also exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale which took place in 2015. Modisakeng’s work highlights the position of the black body situated in the violent context of South Africa’s past and present.