Arts competition draws a mass audience

IT’S officially started. The Interpret Durban organisers have made the call for artists to submit their entries for this year’s competition.

Now in its fourth year, Interpret Durban – a dynamic arts and culture event that takes place between July and August as part of Celebrate Durban festivities – is up and running.

BIG IDEA: Quincy Fynn from the hit hip hop-jazz fusion band, Big Idea, is seen here during last year's Interpret Durban party. Credit: INLSA

Tonight caught up with one of the organisers, Jonas Barausse, who explained more about the annual event and what they’re looking for in the competition.

He said what started off in 2010 as an event with about 200 people in attendance has evolved into a mass showcase of the arts, with crowds clocking more than 1 000 last year.

“Interpret Durban is a multidiscipline art competition that runs for a month, culminating in a celebration, prize-giving and a live music and live art installation spectacular, which this year will be held on August 31. All of this, from the competition to the venue for the party, which is Durban City Hall, is all Durban-focused,” he said.

This year’s theme, The Concrete Circus Edition, is intended to provoke artists into drawing their own interpretation of the city through this theme.

“Concrete can be a living and breathing thing.

“The circus is very animated and vibrant and concrete circus makes it juxtaposition,” he said.

Interpret Durban 4 (or ID4 as it’s more casually known) is made up of three equal parts. It’s a musical gig featuring some of the best of South African music (about seven bands and DJs); an art exhibition and the most anticipated party of the year at City Hall.

And it all starts with this call for artists to enter the competition with four categories to choose from: T-shirt design, photography, short film and mixed medium.

“That’s the beauty of it, the T-shirt design is a chance for graphic designers and illustrators to come on board; the mix medium category is open to as many kinds of artists as possible. Last year we provided maisonette boards for artists to produce their work on.

“This year we have a universal theme anyone can access. So artists can use a box of any shape or size to create art on. But the idea is to just use one side of the box so that on the night of the party we can also create a jigsaw-type of wall of art.

The photographic and film categories are guided by the theme Heritage Matters. We encourage all artists to go to our website (see below) for detailed briefs for each category. The competition is open to artists across the board, not just in Durban, but the themes are Durban-centred,” said Barausse.

ID4 is a collaborative effort between Street Scene, Intertwine, eThekwini Municipality, the KZN Institute of Architects and Springleap. They are offering more than R50 000 worth of prizes, including two Wacom Tablets.