Absa A’telier Exhibition at the ABSA Art Gallery

Nine hundred years of time and space, and I've never been slapped by someone's mother. Well, you're very similar heights. Maybe you should wear labels. Oh, I always rip out the last page of a book.

This is the 34th year of the ABSA L’Atelier exhibition and received artworks from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia. Works were adjudicated online for the first time this year. The ambassadors, winners of the three categories each get a one month residency in Paris where they will be mentored by partners from the Cité Internationale des Arts. Then they come back to a one month residency at Pretoria University followed by a two month residency at Nirox. The Gerald Sekoto award winner will get a three month residency at Cite Internationale des Arts in 2020 and a travelling exhibition through the Alliance Française network in South Africa in 2021.

The artists Raji Bamdele, Phaka Nyakong Nkhensani Rihlampfu, Winifrid Luena were the top 4 winners. The 2 South African winners are both students at TUT.

Phaka Nyakong received the highest Gerard Sekoto award which is given to the most promising young artist between the ages of 25 to 35. He paid tribute to Gerard Sekoto in an interview with Africa Melane from radio 702 saying that he was one of the pioneers of black visual artist in South Africa. He also says that a prize like this does not come easily and comes from being humble and being dedicated to your work. His work is a photographic portfolio addressing gender identities and mis-identities as the figures are not presented with facial features and he wants the viewer to question whether if this was male or female the value would be different.

“The work, which uses the medium of studio photography to create a performative narrative, does this by imagining the human as a being whose social identity cannot be pinned down to mere rigid gender associations – a being whose socialized nature means that they may only negotiate even their most intimate emotions, particularly their fears, in the sociable structures within which they are born and bred,” he says.

Asked in another interview to describe his winning work, Nyokong said: “The work uses the medium of studio photography to create a performative narrative. It does this by imagining the human as a being whose social identity cannot be pinned down to mere rigid gender associations – a being whose socialised nature means that they may only negotiate even their most intimate emotions, particularly their fears, in the sociable structures within which they are born and bred.”

A’telier Exhibition 1
A’telier-Exhibition-2

Nigerian artist Raji  Bamidele sculptural work says “My works examine the everyday innermost activities of mankind, exploring personal and political narratives, focusing mostly on the resilience of the human spirit,” he says and that he draws inspiration from experiences that moulded him.

These towering figures are imposing and intricate. They are also bulky, and I wonder what his hands looked like after all the weaving with rubber and plastic.

A’telier Exhibition 8

Nkensani Rihlampfu South African multi-media artist. Nkhensani Rihlampfu’s works are life sized figures bearing the weight of the wooden beams . They are “woven realities”. “The work exists in the overlapping margin between truth and ideology; it is in this space that we each discover our identity and acknowledge the importance of communication. We are presented with familiar structures and recognisable characteristics, but never definitive facts… And is deeply rooted in conceptual foundation” he explains.

A’telier 10
A’telier Exhibition 12

Be sure to see whats exhibition is happening at the Keyes Art Mile until the 7th November.

Go here —> https://catherineolver.com/keyes-art-mile/

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