Meet the judges: Zyma Amien

Zyma Amien, a graduate of Michaelis, was the overall winner of the Sasol New Signatures competition in 2016. She exhibited her debut solo entitled “Real” lives and “ordinary” objects “ in 2017 and now she is one of the judges. 

We chatted to her to gauge her views on being selected as a judge in 2018, the importance of art competitions and the artwork she would most like to own.

Link to Blog 2017:

Share your thoughts on being selected as part of the judging panel for Sasol New Signatures 2018?
I have been involved in this amazing competition for a few years now - as an entrant and then last year exhibiting as the previous year’s winner.  I have a fair idea of how things work but this will give me another view and I will understand what happens behind the scenes of the Sasol News Signatures Art Competition.

As a judge what are you most looking forward to?
This competition is a superb platform and brings so many people together. I’m looking forward to spending time with my fellow judges, meeting new people as well as seeing great artworks.

Having won the competition previously and held your solo exhibition, what has the competition done for you and your career?
Winning Sasol New Signatures has taken my career to new heights, which I could not have done on my own. I have been invited to participate in renowned exhibitions and sold work to prominent collectors.

Do competitions encourage young artists to apply themselves rigorously?
I definitely think so. Sasol New Signatures not only encourages young artists but also educates aspiring artists through the comprehensive feedback sessions.  If work is not selected, artists can try again. They can enter repeatedly.

What function does Sasol New Signatures have in the world of South African art?
The landscape of South Africa is marked by its inequalities. This competition gives everybody the equal opportunity to participate. By winning Sasol New Signatures, it uplifts artists from any background.

Any tips to artists wanting to participate in the competition.  
My advice is to just enter!

Is there such a thing as artistic trends? 
No, I don’t think so. Art is essentially different from other creative endeavors. Artists must work from the heart.

If you were a curator for one of our national galleries what works would you be pursuing?
I’m most interested in works that comment or highlight current issues in society.

If you could wave a magic wand and own any piece of South African Art - what would you choose and why?
I would choose a work by Gerard Sekoto, Song of the Pick – 1947. This work references the socio-political climate of the time.