Last night the unconventional Chicken Run, an art sourcing initiative where a curator and her team head off on a monthly ‘chicken run’ in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Zimbabwe to source art for the Nando’s Art Collection, won a BASA Award for Increasing Access to the Arts.
The Chicken Run is an initiative that has been run by Nando’s partner, Yellowwoods Art, since 2013. If an artwork is selected for acquisition, the artist receives payment the very same day. Nando’s supports this programme by purchasing art on an ongoing monthly basis and marketing the artists’ journey to success, which in turn inspires artists to keep on producing new, fresh pieces. The net result? Artist’s careers and skills are elevated and Nando’s buys quality artwork to add to their ever-growing African art collection, currently numbered at 11 000 pieces displayed in Nando’s restaurants worldwide.
Nando’s Art Initiative was also a finalist for the BASA Long-Term Partnership Award, which was won by Standard Bank for the Joy of Jazz, and the BASA Strategic Project Award for the Nando’s Accidental Art World Design Capital project, which was won by Rand Merchant Bank for War Horse.
Each BASA winner received a unique sculpture created by renowned artist, Collen Maswanganyi, who was inspired by the theme of transformation. Collen created a colourful “family” of pieces especially for the awards, with each sculpture representing a different family member who has undergone, or is busy undergoing, a transformation of his or her own. Nando’s took home this piece titled ‘Elevated’, of which Maswanganyi says, “In a polygamous setting, most of the first wife’s chores are then taken on by the second or third wife, respectively. The latest technological developments could take the place of the second and third wives, as technology increasingly attempts to simplify our lives. The work talks about the proliferation and even abuse of the latest ‘words’ – like #, @ and others.