The Free State finalists of the prestigious Absa L’Atelier art competition were recently announced in Bloemfontein. Artworks selected for this year’s competition are Mandi Bezuidenhout’s Blurred intimacy in mixed media, Johannes Botma’s, Labyrinth, an interactive digital installation, Pauline Gutter’s, Die huweliksaansoek, a video, telephone, engraved plaque and installation box, Louis Kruger’s, Daar sal ’n stilte heers in video and his Die weerstandsbeweging also in video. What makes the chosen finalists even more extraordinary is the fact that all of them are current and past Kovies students. The winner of last year’s competition, Elrie Joubert, is also a Bloemfonteiner and has graduated with a master’s in Fine Arts from the UFS in 2010.
Artworks selected to take part in the national exhibition later this year will be exhibited in the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg.
The Absa L’Atelier is South Africa’s most prestigious art competition and is held annually for artists between the ages of 21 and 35. This award not only ensures recognition for South Africa’s emerging artists, but also affords them the opportunity to develop their talents abroad. Four prizes are available in 2013’s competition. The first prize consists of R125 000 and a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. An Apersand Foundation Residency in New York City and a Sylt Foundation Residency on the Island of Sylt, Germany, will be granted through two merit awards. The most promising artist will receive the Gerard Sekoto Award of R80 000, as well as a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. The winners of the competition will be announced on 17 July in Johannesburg.