The Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award and The Living Tapestry Project - An art and history project in Hermanus

Thursday, 18 July, 2019
Bouchard Finlayson Vineyard
The Tollman family, owners of Bouchard Finlayson, have long been great supporters of the arts in South Africa and sponsor the Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Competition every year as part of the Hermanus Fynarts Festival, with a first prize of R20 000, second prize of R10 000, and 2 merit prizes of R5 000 each

Neeske Alexander walked away with the 1st prize, followed by Karen Grove in 2nd place and Natasha Brown and Terrence Howahowa each receiving a Merit prize. The theme this year was ‘Harmony’ and artists were invited to submit their work in a tondo (round) format with a maximum 60cms diameter to be displayed on a wine barrel head. A total of 53 works by 46 artists were selected as finalists from 227 works submitted by 179 artists.

An exciting variety of media was entered this year, including the winner’s watercolour and Karen Grove’s two works of reverse acrylic on perspex. The two Merit winners respectively entered a work of oil on glass, and the other, a tapestry and weaving piece. Terrence Howahowa, along with three other finalists, are residents of Zwelihle township in Hermanus where they form part of the Living Tapestry Project. Since March 2018, Zwelihle in Hermanus has been the site of much unrest and violence, with residents unhappy about issues that include a lack of jobs and limited access to opportunities. 

As tourism is a key driver of financial opportunity in Hermanus, in 2018 a group of residents initiated an embroidery project working with mostly unemployed people at the Youth Cafe in Zwelihle. The concept was inspired by the Keiskamma Art Project, pioneered by Carol Hofmeyr in the rural Eastern Cape in 2001. This Art Project, uses art and story-telling to enable people to express themselves and to provide a livelihood. The project is most famous for the design of the 120-metre long Keiskamma Tapestry, which now hangs in Parliament in Cape Town and is based on the famous French Bayeux tapestry.

2019 Prize Winners - L to R : Mary Faure (FynArts Festival Director) Natasha Brown (Merit prize) Lorna Jakins (FynArts Coordinator) Karen Grove (2nd prize) Terrence Howahowa (Merit prize) Peter Finlayson (Founder and Cellar Master, Bouchard Finlayson) Neeske Alexander (1st prize) Prof. Elizabeth Gunter (Judge)

With the support of Carol Hofmeyr who had displayed their tapestries at FynArts in 2016, initial meetings were held in Zwelihle. The aim was to use embroidery to weave together the diverse stories of the people who live in Hermanus. In 2018 a workshop was held and consisted of sharing the history of Zwelihle, drawing pictures together which were transferred and embroidered onto hessian and appliqué designs added. The visiting Keiskamma artists undertook the embroidery classes to complete the Zwelihle tapestry that was launched in December 2018.

In 2019 the coordinators continued to visit the embroiders and encouraged them to make items such as cushions for sale. They were also taken to the Suzani exhibition to expose them to other embroidered works of art. A workshop took place at the Youth Café in Zwelihle to encourage people to consider submitting works for the Tollman Bouchard Finlayson art competition. Four people completed works, the project sponsored the applications to enter the competition and all four works were selected for the exhibition with one winning a Merit prize.

2019 Prize Winners and Finalists from The Living Tapestry Project (Back) - L to R : Prudence Bheme (Finalist) Terrence Howahowa (Merit prize) Gillian Hahn (Finalist and coordinator of The Living Tapestry Project) Mary Faure (FynArts Festival Director) Fikiswa Gxames Front: Ashely Tumburuku (Finalist) Magdalina Ponoane  (Finalist)

 

The Hermanus Art/History Project co-ordinators are: Kathie Buley, Alyson Guy, Fikiswa Gxamesi, Gillian Hahn, Christa Clark, Angela Heslop, Carol Hofmeyr, Ann Mapham.

Follow #wineforgood on twitter for even more stories of inspiration and triumph.

 

2019 Finalist 13-year old Ashley Tumburuku with her work 'Treehouse'
2019 Finalist 13-year old Ashley Tumburuku with her work 'Treehouse'

Award winning works
Award winning works

Unique African themes
Unique African themes

L to R Winners - Natasha Brown, Karen Grove, Terrence Howahowa, Neeske Alexander
L to R Winners - Natasha Brown, Karen Grove, Terrence Howahowa, Neeske Alexander

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