The prestigious 2015 Barclays L’Atelier, the contemporary art competition that rewards visual artists with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop their talents abroad, drew to a close last night with the announcement of this year’s award winners.
Kai Lossgott (Pretoria, South Africa) walked away with top honours as winner of the overall award and main Barclays L’Atelier prize for his video installation Small and common matters.
As part of his prize, Lossgott wins a six-month art residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, which includes return airfare, R150 000 cash for the residency and a solo exhibition at the Absa Gallery.
Natalie Moore(Johannesburg, South Africa) was awarded the Gerard Sekoto Award, sponsored by Alliance Française, for the most promising artist with an annual income of less than R60 000 for her photographic triptych Once upon a time Jozi.
As part of the Gerard Sekoto Award, Moore wins a three-month art residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, which includes return airfare, a stipend and a travelling exhibition in South Africa.
For the first time in its 30-year history, the competition was expanded to include emerging visual artists from Botswana, Zambia, Ghana and Kenya.
The structure of the competition’s merit awards was altered to reflect this: the first merit award with a residency in Johannesburg as its prize was open to non-South Africans only. This was awarded to Kweku Ampadu Appah (Ghana) for his mixed media piece, Worn out family.
The second merit award, which boasts a residency at the Kuns: Raum Foundation, Sylt Quelle, in Germany as its prize, was open to all entrants and was awarded to Nina Kruger (Pretoria, South Africa) for her wood installation entitled Those forgotten.
The third merit award offering a residency at the Ampersand Foundation in New York, USA, was open to South Africans only and awarded to Nelmarie du Preez (Pretoria, South Africa) for her piece To stab, a single-channel video with sound.
“These coveted residencies are a critical part of the Barclays L’Atelier art competition, as they specifically further one of the event’s core objectives –fast-tracking the careers of the winning artists by exposing them to international opportunities,” said Dr Paul Bayliss, Absa’s Art & Museum Curator.