Mandy Johnston has been named a Merit Award winner at this year’s Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) Young Concrete Sculptor Award (YCSA) competition, with her piece titled, “Transcending the material”. Her varied material artwork is made up of concrete, styrofoam, and earth collected from various mine dumps in Gauteng.

Johnston’s artwork from its face value doesn’t seem to resemble much, but it is a cleverly designed mobile of varying shapes and sizes of pieces of earth. However, when a light shines on the artwork, the shadow it casts resembles a bird. The shape of the bird is a specific reference to a bird of prey. 

Each piece in the artwork is marked with the GPS coordinates of where the sand was collected, and the artwork is a metaphor for the city of Johannesburg, as it aims to comment on the ability humans have to transcend their physical circumstances. 

"The metaphor is reliant on the dichotomous nature of both the bird of prey and the city.  Both have the ability to appear exceptionally beautiful and simultaneously ugly, soar to new heights of development and progress, and to scavenge and devour," explains Johnston.

The other aspect of the city represented in the piece is its ability to transform and physically change but to remain inherent in the same place.  Further to this, the ability to transcend its physical composition represents both the ability of the mobile to move and to return back to a static position.

Issued by: Ogilvy Public Relations