24-year-old Ramsay Art Prize finalist Pierre Mukeba has won the $15,000 People’s Choice award with a larger-than-life work exploring public transport and childhood memories.
Speaking to The Adelaide Review in May, Mukeba explained how his winning work, the three by four metre painting Ride To Church, was inspired by his childhood memories of Zimbabwe, and a desire to push his recognisable style ever further with a large scale piece.
“I was having a conversation with one of my friends about growing up in Africa, the transportation systems we used, et cetera. I started having memories of times in Zimbabwe when my family had to jump in a car or on a bike squeezing in five to six people at a time, knowing how dangerous and unsafe it was, just to get around daily. I kept having a particular memory of all the times I was on a bike going to church with family.
“[I entered this piece] because just the thought of the difference between transportation systems in African countries and Western countries opens up a lot of different conversations. I feel like the piece will open up a lot of different conversation and even memories.”
As winner of the Ramsay Art Prize 2019 Lipman Karas People’s Choice award Mukeba, who is the youngest finalist in this year’s Ramsay Art Prize, will receive $15,000 along with the work being acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia for its permanent collection.
“Pierre Mukeba’s work has struck a chord with our visitors, and we are thrilled that an Adelaide artist of such a young age has been recognised,” Art Gallery of South Australia director Rhana Devenport says of the win. “Ride to Church proves the enduring power of storytelling and that art today has much to communicate.”
Celebrated Indulkana-based artist Vincent Namatjira claimed the $100,000 Ramsay Art Prize in May for his work Close Contact, a double-sided, life-sized figure that is both a self-portrait and irony-laden tribute to Captain Cook.
Both Mukeba and Namatjira’s winning works will remain on display alongside the full crop of 2019 Ramsay Art Prize finalists until August 25.
Ramsay Art Prize
Art Gallery of South Australia
Until August 25
Pierre Mukeba with Ride To Work, Art Gallery of South Australia (Photo: Saul Steed)