LWANDISO NJARA | Flat base decoded
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Born in 1987, Libode, Eastern Cape Lwandiso Njara came from humble beginnings and made some great of his life. in 2009 He created a sculpture that was sold to the Presidency in less than a week after he had been named the runner-up in this year's PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Awards.

A thrilled Lwandiso Njara says that he has very pleased with the recognition and that it will stand him in good stead on his way to establish a name for himself as an artist.

As the runner-up of the PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Awards, Lwandiso received prize money of R25 000 with his sculpture of nine Metro bus drivers on a journey in aid of a wage increase.

"The sculpture symbolises the struggles of the working man frustrated with his condition and the violence, intimidation and disruption that arises from it," says Lwandiso, who hails from the Libode Village near Umtata in the Eastern Cape. He says that he started drawing at a young age and that after finishing school decided to follow his passion of becoming an artist.

In their report of this year's work, the judges say the seemingly precarious balance of Lwandiso's work and the awkward positioning of the people are disturbing elements that set the viewer on edge. They also describe it as a technically well-executed sculpture with an interesting combination of media.

The PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Awards has been on the art calendar for the past 18 years and has become one of South Africa's most prestigious art competitions. The competition invites young artists to submit sculptures using concrete as the primary medium and is open to persons with or without formal training in sculpting.

The judges included, among others, Kay Potts, a professional sculptor from the USA who resides and works in South Africa; Elfriede Dreyer, associate professor in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria; and TUT's Renier le Roux, a full-time senior technical assistant at the Department of Fine and Applied Arts and award-winning sculptor in his own right.

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