Patrick Rulore (24) from Hammanskraal, in Pretoria, went from being an art student at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) to winning the highly contested Sasol New Signatures Art Competition.
Not only does he now join the elite group of artists who have won the competition, like Mohau Madisekeng (2011) and Lebohang Kganye (2017), he also walked away with R100 000 and an opportunity to have a solo show at the Pretoria Art Museum in 2020.
“I am really happy because my persistence and resilience as an artist has finally paid off,” he tells SADC News during the celebration at Pretoria Art Museum.
“I started entering the competition in 2015 and I was not selected, so this proves that consistency does eventually pay off,” he adds.
Rulore won the prize for his oil on canvas piece, titled Stage 4 Moments, about the recent power cuts that hit South Africa.
“The work shows how me and my family’s experience of the load shedding,” he explains. “In a sense, it brought us together because when there was a power cut we would not complain, we would just sit around the table and just talk and laugh.”
The rather demure artist, who is currently finishing his Fine Arts diploma at TUT, says his works capture his day to day experiences and that makes it quite personal.
“I use my community, family, surroundings, and experiences as my sources of inspiration.
“I generally just also tap into my inner-self and through my experiences people then get to see whatever they want to see and find something that relates to them.”
Before pursuing a career as an artist, Rulore, says he always loved to draw as a child and that developed into a passion for art.
“The joy I got from drawing inspired me to pursue the craft until I got to where I am today.
“Because I had a passion for art, choosing it as a career was not such a big decision for me. It also helped that I had family support because my mother is also an artist, she is a fashion designer, and so art runs in the family.”
With the art world now anticipating his debut solo show, the artist says he is ready to put in the work and show what he is capable of as an emerging artist from Hammanskraal.
“As a realist painter, my goal is to express my spirit through my work. I want when one looks at my artwork to be able to get a sense of my process of creation – my emotional journey,” he explains.
“It’s import for me that my artworks reflect my journey as an artist. And with the upcoming show, I hope that people can relate to my experiences because essentially my work is about my identity and there are people who are also familiar with my experiences or who have also experienced them first hand.”
Despite bagging the coveted award, Rulore says that this is only the beginning as he still has a lot to achieve as an artist.
“There is a bigger dream and I have to be consistent in order to get to where I want to be. And it’s very important that I trust myself while I am on this journey,” he concludes.