Q&A with Merit Winner: Pierre Le Riche

Download the 2018 cataologue to see Henri's work.

Where does your passion for art come from?
I was introduced to conceptual art about nine years ago and with academic training my thinking about art has developed into what I suppose you can now consider a ‘passion'.
 
Briefly describe your artistic journey up until the point of entering Sasol New Signatures.
Following high school I enrolled in an interior design course, and after two years studying and working in the industry I realised that I found it quite unappealing. Soon thereafter, out of interest and desperation, I enrolled at UNISA for the Bachelor of Visual Arts programme, and discovered that I really enjoyed making and thinking about art in an academic way. After completing my undergraduate degree I was accepted for a masters degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, which I completed in 2017 and I have been working as an independent artist ever since.
 
What motivated you to enter the Sasol New Signatures art competition?
Two of my colleagues have won the competition and I have witnessed how much it enriched their lives, so I thought I would give it a shot.
 
What excites you about the creative process?
Discovering and working with new materials and techniques.
 
Tell us about your preferred medium.
As I was not trained at ‘normal' art school I am not equipped with the skills set most Fine Art graduates leave university with so I have a tendency towards using craft or artisanal methods of making in my practice. That said, I adore working with ceramics, wood and fibres because they can be so technical, yet so forgiving.
 
Summarise your work in three independent words.
Imperfect. Pedantic. Fragile.
 
Did this competition teach you anything about yourself?
I learnt plenty about the logistics of moving art and it taught me to make works that are easier to transport.
 
Which local artists do you admire?
I have a deep appreciation for Claudette Schreuders’ work.
 
What is next for you as an artist?
I am currently grappling with the idea of enrolling for a PhD in Fine Art.
 
What impact would winning this competition have on you?
It would be a huge morale boost, and would give me the financial means to make more ambitious work.