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A fourth-year fine arts student wins Wits Young Artist Award

- Wits University

Rumbo Mercy took first place with her multimedia installation.

Rumbo Mercy

Titled: Platform Omega: Awaiting The Twilight Train, the artwork combines mixed media, sound, video, and sculpture, and features a chapter from a book series, Into The Insula, that follows the journey of the outcasted entity, Space Kid.

Mercy’s artwork showcases the point of the story where Space Kid arrives at Platform Omega to embark on the Twilight train toInsula. Space kid is on the the threshold of a new journey at the station, that enters a metaphysical liminal space of introspection. As she awaits her departure, she begins to float, exploring the freeing feeling of the possibilities of yearning to belong, but rather embrace that which makes her unique.

Space Kid reflects, “She was a fish in a tank of air. The quietness became markedly louder, as if her ears could be deafened by silence. Before her eardrums could crack under the pressure of nothingness, a voice over the intercom sounded.”

Mercy's artwork

Mercy's artwork

Mercy was also shortlisted for the Wits Young Artist awards last year and this time around she had hoped to secure a place but never thought she would win. “I decided to submit my exam artwork this year, but I was not that confident this time around. When I got the email that I had been shortlisted and would showcase it was the most surreal and confusing experience.  And then to win, is an amazing feeling. I felt so honoured to have the ability to share this piece because of what it means to me. It represents more than Space Kid, it represents all the ebbs and flows of the creation process that I encountered, it wasn’t all for nothing. It has marked a good end, to the end of my Wits schooling career,” says Mercy.

The runners-up in the Wits Young Artist Awards and Merit Award recipients were Puseletso Masemene for her video installation work Ts’ilo le ho Sila, and Khulekani Magudulela for his terracotta vessel titled Igoqo.

The other artists shortlisted for the Wits Young Artist Award included Khulekani Magudulela, Olivia Pintér, Ntokozo Mudau, Puseletso Masemene, Katleho Habi, Zukhanye Zuzu Ndlaleni, Rirhandzu Vermeulen, Relebogile Malaza and Chuma Adam.

The Wits School of Arts and The Point of Order hosted this year’s event on the 20th of July 2023, to acknowledge and give exposure to new critical works by the senior students in the Department of Fine Arts at Wits.