The 2013 Absa L’Atelier Art Competition winners have been announced. Pauline Gutter from Bloemfontein won the overall award and main prize with her piece, Die Huweliksaansoek. Mongezi Ncaphayi from Johannesburg was awarded the Gerard Sekoto Award, and the two Merit Awards went to Jaco van Schalkwyk and Kathleen Sawyer.
Pauline’s winning work explores the relationship between cattle farming, land ownership and descendants within the Afrikaner boere tradition. The installation with ‘agri-porno’ audio-visual element humorously raises the question: ‘Does a farmer search for a wife in the way he would search for stud animals and breed them?’
Mongezi’s etching focuses on migration and the establishment of ‘urban’ settlements for black mine labourers. The rows of tiny black squares represent the rows of cement bunks that the miners were housed in, as well as the tombstones of those who died between 1990 and 1994.
Dr Paul Bayliss, Absa Art and Museum Curator, said that it “was so fascinating to see the depth of creativity exhibited by the entrants. It points to how our emerging artists are growing”. The competition is open to young artists between the ages of 21 and 35, and the top 100 works, including the top 10 finalists and the winners, will be on display at the Absa Gallery until the 22 of August.
These were the other top 10 finalists: