Kenya’s Maral Bolouri has won the top prize at the 2017 L’Atelier art awards. South African Banele Khoza also won the Gerard Sekoto Award. Another Kenyan, Elias Njora, was named as a Top 10 finalist.
L’Atelier is organized by Barclays Africa and South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) and is now in its 32nd year.
Maral Bolouri, a previous 2015 L’Atelier Top 100 finalist, won the overall award for her installation Mothers and Others, a multi-sensory, interactive installation that investigates representations of women in African oral traditions. It explores the power of proverbs by juxtaposing negative and positive depictions of women in cultural truisms.
Banele Khoza has also been a Top 100 finalist in two previous L’Atelier competitions, in 2015 and 2016, and this year was awarded the Gerard Sekoto Award. The Gerard Sekoto Award is awarded to a South African artist who has demonstrated continual improvement in the quality of their entry year-on-year in the L’Atelier. He won the award for his piece Note Making, which comprises a series of digital drawings printed with an inkjet printer. Through the pieces, Khoza questions representations of what it is to be a male in South Africa and within the broader social context.
Members of the public can view the Top 100 best artworks from the 2017 L’Atelier at the official L’Atelier exhibition, running from 14 September 2017 to 27 October 2017 at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa.