Hilary Graham of Aberdeen was presented with a trophy last week, awarded at the end of last year by the then MEC for Arts and Culture in the Eastern Cape, the Hon. Bulelwa Tunyiswa. Xola Mweli, handed over the trophy to Graham on behalf of the Department.
Graham, Professor of Visual Art and Rural Pataphysics, was given the Visual Art Development award in recognition of his commitment to the promotion of art and craft in the province.
For many years, he has been involved with the Aberdeen Heritage, Archive and Tourism Board in Aberdeen, and he is currently the Art and Culture consultant to the board. He is also the chairperson of the Camdeboo Art, Culture and Heritage Agency, a civic structure facilitated by DSRAC for the development of local artists, Liberation Heritage discourse and transformation of the tourism industry.
The award also recognises his association with the Mendi centenary celebrations in 2017, when his work was displayed in the Mandela Bay Metropolitan Museum as well as in Cape Town.
Graham as an academician lectured in various Academies of Art in South Africa, finally ending at the University of Fort Hare, before moving to Aberdeen in 2005. He has been active in arts and culture since arriving in the Karoo, and has forged links between the Sarah Baartman District and Arts and Culture agencies.
He has been recognised many times for his achievements in the Visual Arts field, receiving a special award in 2000 from the EC Premier, and in 2017, he was a nominated finalist for a Lifetime Achievement award for Visual Art in the province.
In 2011, Graham chaired the Visual Art Commission of the Arts and Culture conference held in East London. In 2017 and 2108, he was an invited member of a panel that drafted the policy framework for the Department of Sport, Recreation, Art and Culture (DSRAC) in the Eastern Cape.
Graham is a recognised painter and print maker. He has artist work in important public and private collections, having created many print portfolios through the Caversham Press. His graphic work has linked him with the poetic texts of S E K Mqhayi, A C Jordan, Brian Walter and Cathal Lagan.