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Thursday, August 7, 2014


(Luyanda Zindela at the Absa L’Atelier Awards ceremony)

Durban’s Luyanda Zindela was recognised for his photographic print Umkhumbi wakaMedusa which he entered for the 2014 Absa L’Atelier Art Competition.

Protest, introspection, an awareness of earthen roots and the human condition were all explored through the exceptional works received, with the top four entries being announced last month at the Absa Gallery.

Pretoria’s Liberty Battson took the overall award and main prize for her diptych, Odds of an artist like me, while Mbavhalelo Nekhavhambe from Thohoyandou was awarded the Gerard Sekoto Award, sponsored by the French Embassy and the Alliance Française in South Africa, for the most promising artist with an annual income less than R60,000 for his video installation, Press Accident.

Luyanda Zindela won a Merit Award alongside Johannesburg’s Bevan de Wet, who was awarded for his etching and relief entitled Decorus in Gryphus II. De Wet won a two months’ stay at the Sylt Foundation in Germany while Zindela won a one month’s stay at the Ampersand Foundation in New York. As part of the prize, Zindela also becomes a Fellow of the Ampersand Foundation.

The Absa L’Atelier Art Competition is in its 29th year and is hosted in partnership with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA). It is regarded as Africa’s most influential art competition. It specifically targets established and emerging young artists with the objective of showcasing their diverse talents and fast-tracking the careers of the winners by exposing them to international opportunities.

The competition is open to young artists aged 21 to 35 and attracts entries from across the country, which is open to public viewing during the regional adjudication rounds. An exhibition of the top 100 works will be on public display until August 21 2014 at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg.

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