Get (paper)slammed at Oppikoppi

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Can you tell the more ignorant among us what exactly Paperslam is?

Paperslam is the art exhibition to be held at Oppikoppi Sweet Thing. In previous years it was known as Printslam, but this year Oppikoppi decided to expand the scope of the exhibition to include not only printed posters, but any kind of design, drawing, illustration, photography, etc. Basically any kind of art will be exhibited, as long as it is on paper.

Maria Ferreira's entry received 3rd place at the Odd Cafe! submission event.

The first time I noticed the “artier” side of Oppi was in 2007 with Way of the Dassie (I’m not saying the poems, banners and other visual stuff weren’t on display in years before that – just that if they might have been a bit lost in a haze of dust and hedonism). Has the Oppi art of Paperslam always been part of the festival and what are its origins?

The Oppikoppi organizers have always had a passion for art (besides their obvious love for music.) The beautiful batik backgrounds on the stages, poster design competitions, promotional artworks, and a strong focus on good design have formed and integral part of the festival from its start. Printslam/Paperslam is the result of Oppikoppi's passion to promote upcoming and talented artists, while cultivating art appreciation among festival goers.

Elizabeth Steyn's entry received 3rd place at the Lucky Rodrigo submission event.

Your website states that PostBox is “an arts and culture initiative”. What exactly are you about? How does Paperslam fit in with your objectives and how did you guys get involved?

Our aim is to provide all kinds of creatives with a platform to feature their art, design, photography, graffiti, music, film, animation, poetry, dance, fashion, architecture, and anything else that qualifies as creative and original. The PostBox initiative includes an annual publication, events, online media, workshops, exhibitions, etc.

Oppikoppi decided to outsource the exhibition to ensure its growth and success and so approached us to reinvent and run Paperslam this year.

Leigh le Roux's entry received 2nd place at the Odd Cafe! submission event.

PostBox hosted three Paperslam submission events (with the winner of each one receiving an Oppikoppi ticket). Tell us a bit more about them and how they went down.

The events were aimed at promoting the Paperslam initiative, to invite participation form the general public, and to discover and promote new talent. Each event consisted of an art table where people could submit their already created art, or use the art equipment and paper we provided to create impromptu artworks on the night. At the end of the evening, we exhibited all art and the judges then chose the top 3 at each event. These works where then uploaded onto our FB page, and people could like their favourite artworks. The work with most likes also won an Oppikoppi ticket.

Our last event at Bravo's included an open mic competition. The winner, Peter Rabbit, received an Oppikoppi ticket as well as a slot to play on the MK Cube stage at the festival. The judges from MK Cube and Oppikoppi were so impressed by the contestants, that they gave away 5 slots in total!

Samantha Ford's entry received 3rd place at the Bravo's submission event.

Do you think the success of the events is due to the fact that it’s related to the power that is Oppikoppi or that the interest generated was rather due to the platform for creative expression Paperslam offers?

Oppikoppi's image definitely played a role, but I also believe that PostBox's creative marketing campaign and innovative/interactive approach to the events were integral to the overall success.

Brent Swart's entry received 2nd place at the Lucky Rodrigo submission event.

The way I see it Oppikoppi, or the idea thereof, served as the initial creative impulse for the Paperslam artworks. Is this correct, and if so, what is the importance of Oppikoppi as a festival with regard to the creativity and art exhibited in the submissions?

I think Oppikoppi has an unique and undefinable creative energy surrounding it! Anyone who has been there and who loved it will agree; this time of the year it is as if there is an indescribable excitement in the air! And this "vibe" (for lack of a better word), inspires people to express their creativity! Participating in Paperslam this year felt to me personally as if I tapped into this collective creative energy! And I think this can be seen in many of the artwork submitted.

Alastair Victor Leech's entry received 2nd place at the Odd Cafe! submission event.

These submissions weren’t limited as far as theme or topic goes. Do the submissions still tie together or form a (meaningful/-less) whole somehow?

No, we deliberately decided not to give a specific theme. We wanted people to have complete creative freedom.

Charl J Naudé's entry received 2nd place at the Bravo's submission event.

Which were the 3 winning entries? Why were they chosen?

Paperslam #1, Lucky Rodrigo: Charl Steyn, aka Skippy (chosen because of its technical excellence).
Paperslam #2, Odd Cafe: Hein Coetzer (chosen because of its strong concept).
Paperslam #3, Bravo's: Wilmari Botha (chosen for originality and creativity).

We had independent judges at each event who are all industry experts. Oppikoppi and PostBox had no influence on the judges' decisions.

Wilmari Botha's winning entry for the Bravo's submission event.

For many people Oppikoppi is all about getting apocalyptically wasted. However, the true devout are always there first and foremost for the art that is music. How do you feel that Oppi is enhanced by the addition of other types of art (ie visual, written etc)?

Refer to the answers to question 2 and 6.

Charl Steyn's winning entry for the Lucky Rodrigo submission event.

What will be happening from your side at the festival itself? Where will the artworks be exhibited? Is there a Paperslam progamme or line-up?

All art submitted plus 5 chosen local artists and Tim Hopwoods photography will be on display and on sale every day, from 9 - 11 August, 09:00 - 17:00. The exhibition space is located in the triangle, there where the path splits when going up to the very top bar.

Gavin Rain is this year's campaign artist and signed prints of his artwork (as featured on the Oppikoppi Sweet Thing poster) will also be on sale at the Paperslam exhibition. 

Hein Coetzer's winning entry for the Odd Cafe! submission event.  

You’ve mentioned the Tim Hopwood exhibition. You also feature some of his photos of the Voëlvry tour on your Facebook page which immediately made me think of Sean Brand and his focus on photographing musicians. What do you feel is the connection between photography (and other visual expressions as submitted for Paperslam) and music?

I think art and music have always coexisted. It is part of the same core of creativity. Many artists are also musicians, many photographers are writers, many musicians are designers. They all belong to the same family!

Some of Tim Hopwood's legendary Voëlvry photographs, here featuring Koos Kombuis and Laurien Myles.

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