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Du Toit replaces Judith Mason on the three-strong panel. Mason had to withdraw because health issues prevent her from travelling. The other two judges remain Hayden Proud and Vulindlela Nyoni.

Stefan Hundt, convenor of the SPI National Portrait Award judging panel says he is disappointed that Mason’s considerable experience and wisdom will no longer be on the panel. “However we are very pleased that Susanne has accepted our invitation. She is one of the most outstanding contemporary portraiture artists in the world today and winning the BP Portrait Award confirms her credentials as a painter. She is also a highly experienced art teacher and this will provide her with an understanding of the difficulties that any artist confronts when creating new works.”

He added that, being based in the UK and having recently beaten 1969 other artists from 77 different countries to the top BP prize, she will bring a worldly and highly contemporary perspective to the judging process.

Du Toit was born in Pretoria and studied at the University of Pretoria and later at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She moved to the UK in 1994 and now lives in Crowthorne, Berkshire. She focuses on figurative art and exhibits regularly in the UK, Paris, South Africa and the US. She is married with a daughter and a son (who was the subject of her winning work).

In her own words, Du Toit “has pursued figurative art for almost thirty years, focussing more recently on portraits. My principle media are oil and etching, but I also work with ceramics, photography, watercolour, and mixed media within sketchbooks. I have spent my life between Pretoria, Grahamstown, Boston Massachusetts and the UK.”

Entries for the SPI National Portrait Award should be received between 5 and 19 August 2013. The award ceremony will take place on 27 August 2013 at the Rust-en-Vrede Art Gallery, Durbanville, where the selected works will be on exhibition and open for public viewing from 28 August 2013 until 8 October 2013. For full information visit: http://bit.ly/15l3GO6

Distributed by:
Elysa Miller
Account Manager
Atmosphere Communications
Tel: 021 469 1572 / 072 142 5159
Email: elysa@atmosphere.co.za
Twitter handle: @atmospherecomms

On behalf of:
Stefan Hundt
Head art advisory service
Sanlam Private Investments
Tel: 021 947 3359 / 083 457 2699
Email: stefan.hundt@sanlam.co.za

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