Young emerging artists, between the ages of 21 and 35, should start preparing their work for the March opening of the 2013 Absa L'Atelier art competition.
The winning artist wins a range of prizes, including cash, as well as a coveted opportunity to study at the Cité Internationale Des Arts in the heart of Paris, where he or she can develop his or her talent, surrounded by leading artists from across the world. Two merit award winners will be chosen to win prizes of a residency at the Ampersand Foundation in New York and at the Sylt Foundation on the Island of Sylt in Germany respectively. There is a fourth prize, sponsored by the French Embassy and Alliance Francaise.
Held annually in partnership with SANAVA (South African National Association for the Visual Arts), the Absa L'Atelier art competition is regarded as one of South Africa's most prestigious and longest running art competitions. It has launched the careers of many South African artists who have become household names on a global level.
Foreign travel sparks creativity
To help promote the 2013 competition, the bank undertook an experiment to see whether there was a substitute for real experience. Working with its advertising agency, The Jupiter Drawing Room (Johannesburg), they hypnotised young artists and told them they were in Paris, New York or on the Island of Sylt, places they had never visited before and the destinations that the winning artists will receive residences in. While under hypnosis and believing they were in these cities, they created artworks showing what they saw. To see some of the results, click on www.absalatelier.co.za/videos.html.
2012 winners ready for residency
The winners of the 2012 competition were Elrie Joubert and Bambo Sibiya (Gerard Sekoto Award winner). Joubert's entry was an installation, which was based around a contemporary interpretation of the renaissance practice of keeping a cabinet of rarities; while Sibiya's piece celebrated the power of women and how they challenge life as single parents. They will be taking up their prizes residencies in 2013.
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