Ethan wins art prize with mom’s motivation

Ethan Barends, of Grassy Park came first in the art challenge expo.

Ethan Barends, 16, a pupil at South Peninsula High School, in Diep River, created a winning art project, walking away with R5 000 prize money for his entry in the City of Cape Town’s Waste to Art Challenge Expo competition, which depicted this year’s Festive Lights Switch-On theme, Cape Town: Window to the World.

“The City’s Waste to Art Challenge Expo showed how we can use discarded material and turn it into beautiful works. All the material used once had another purpose, but have remained useful by becoming art,’ said JP Smith, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for safety and security.

Mr Smith, added: “I am impressed not only by the level of creativity that has gone into each of the pieces on display here, but by their ingenuity and an obvious understanding by the young artists as to the dangers of not looking after our planet. I commend and congratulate each of them for using this platform to advocate to others how we need to look for practical ways to re-purpose, re-use, recycle, rethink and ultimately, reduce ‘waste’ products in the city and its surrounds and hopefully, beyond.”

Ethan, who hails from Grassy Park, submitted a colourful artwork on recycled paper, which he framed by using discarded “rubbish” that he re-purposed.

His mother Natalie said she
was proud of Ethan and encour-
aged her children to try their
hands at anything.

Ms Barends said Ethan started doing art in Grade 7, at Westcott Primary where he won the principal’s award.”

After starting high school he dabbled in many activities, including dancing and soccer but never lost touch with art.

Ms Barends said her friend mentioned the competition which she saw on Facebook and suggested to Ethan that he should enter. Ethan asked her to buy a ring-binder book for him to file his artwork.

“He didn’t start immediately, but one day after writing a bad maths paper, he started on the project and finished it using waste materials.”

Ethan said he used empty Coke cans which he pasted together with glue. “ I used waste for the outside borders and cardboard for the inside border.”

Ethan got the most votes on Facebook which made him the winner.

“We sacrifice for our children, but we need to let them grow. Invest in your child, and reap the rewards later,” said Ms Barends.

* In second place was 13-year-old Shaakirah Samuels, a pupil at Gordon High in Gordon’s Bay, with her working lamp-stand and lampshade fashioned from discarded plastic drink bottles and an old light bulb.

Sir Lowry’s Village Primary School was third with their “FashTrash” entry – modish outfits created from plastic bags, old newspaper and even a crinoline hoop made from old wire.

The mini-expo will be held on the main concourse of the Cape Town Civic Centre, until Wednesday December 21. Entry is free.