Unlike many established art competitions that focus specifically on fine art or a singular artist, the innovative new Social Impact Arts Prize, rewards arts-based projects and programmes that work in or across the spheres of education, employment, community, environment, technology and the arts. In particular the prize looks to reward arts projects that create a direct and measurable effect on individuals and communities.
The winners of the 2020 Social Impact Arts Prize will each see their proposed site-specific arts-based project brought to life in and around the town of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape.
This year, not one but three winners have been awarded the Social Impact Arts Prize 2020, including PLANTed, an inspiring project that seeks to bring visibility to the loss of local traditional knowledge about medicinal plants, crafts, food culture and indigenous languages.
Together artist Lorenzo Nassimbeni, Andrew Brose of MASS Design and Casper Lundie of Biru architects, plan to engage local groups in the creation of a new structure in the town where artists, designers and the local community can exhibit their plant knowledge. The aim is to bring to light the overlooked aspects of local nature that have contributed to Graaff-Reinet’s cultural heritage.
The team behind PLANTed envisage that through the project “the rich culture of the use of medicinal herbs in the area is to be revived” while the literal and metaphorical roots of the town will be celebrated through the unique plant life that makes the town so distinctive.