Dennis’s R100,000 win was announced by the FNB Art Fair on Thursday afternoon. The fair is set to run from September 9-11 at the Sandton Convention Centre.
“It forces you to reflect,” said Dennis. “To think about what you have done and it acts as a placemarker for what is to come.”
Zambian-born Dennis’s work will be showcased at the fair, which this year features 80 exhibitions in six categories, including contemporary and modern art, special projects and gallery solo exhibitions.
“From our perspective, creativity and imagination are key components of innovation and we’re all about innovation,” said Mari van Niekerk, FNB’s senior communication and sponsorship manager.
This year, the fair focuses on East Africa, said curator Lucy MacGarry. Leading artists from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan feature. The fair’s “featured artist” is Wangechi Mutu, a Kenyan who lives and works in the US.
Mutu would present a film and sculptural installation. She has established a studio in Nairobi too.
Other solo exhibitions include those by Ethiopian Aida Muluneh, Kenyan Jim Chuchu, Burundi’s Serge Alain Nitegeka and Uganda’s Sanaa Gateja. Kenyan art collective The Nest Collective will also exhibit works.
Johannesburg curator Megan Scott, of In Toto Gallery, Birdhaven, said the fair was a perfect platform from which to meet others in the art world. “Ours is such a location-based job. It is good to exchange ideas and meet artists.”
Scott said In Toto first exhibited at the FNB Art Fair last year. “We’re a relatively new gallery. We’ve been around five years. Our last fair was very, very successful. We sold out on the opening night, so we brought in more pieces and we sold out again.”
This is the FNB Art Fair’s ninth year. Its largest stakeholders are FNB, the Gauteng government and Johannesburg Tourism, but there are many.
This year will be the first that a TEDx programme will be run at the fair — the first on contemporary art practice in Africa.
The online video programme is aimed at helping communities, organisations and individuals share ideas and spark conversation.
The TEDx Johannesburg Salon will be presented by the Ogojiii African design and innovation magazine on September 10 (10am-2.30pm, Theatre on the Square, Sandton).