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L’ ATELIER ART AWARD WINNER (article first published : 2004-08-1)

The winner of the 2004 Absa L’ Atelier Art competition is Cape artist Conrad Botes. He wins a month study period at the Cité International Des Arts in the heart of Paris as well as R100,000 pocket money, a return ticket to France and free access to galleries and museums in the capital.

Botes who was born in Ladismith in the Cape Province in 1969 and studied BA (FA) at the University of Stellenbosch, won the prize for his mixed media work entitled, Theatre of Cruelty. He also studied MA (FA) at the University of Stellenbosch, which he obtained cum laude. He has participated in several exhibitions, including the Absa L’ Atelier Exhibition in 2002 when he was also selected as one of the top ten finalists in the exhibition.

Belinda Zangewa won the newly introduced Gerard Sekoto award for the most promising artist. Valued at R80,000, this award comprises a return ticket to Paris, three months accommodation at the Cité Internationale Des Arts, nation-wide touring exhibitions and French language classes. Zangewa who studied BA (FA) at Rhodes University, Grahamstown won the award for her mixed media work entitled Faith, love, hope.

Merit award winners are Stephen Hobbs, for hand printed photographs entitled Light camouflage; Pieter Hugo, for photographic print entitled Vinkosi Sigwegwe, South Africa, 2002; Lize Muller, for mixed media entitled In Remembrance, and Robert Rich for a photograph entitled Cool Pool. They each receive R20,000.

“We are celebrating of the 19th year of the L’Atelier art competition which makes it the longest running corporate art sponsorship in the country”, said Mr Nallie Bosman, Group Chief Executive of Absa. He added that when looking back on the yearbook of winners, all of whom have made an indelible mark on the art world through their work or their teachings, he is personally proud that Absa has provided them with a stepping-stone on their life journeys.

The Absa L’Atelier competition has been the launch pad for the careers of many South African artists who have become household names on the global stage - artists such as Penny Siopis, William Kentridge, Karel Nel, Dianne Victor and Colbert Mashile.

Each year Absa purchases an artwork from the final exhibition to add to its impressive 20,000 piece corporate art collection, thought to be one of the largest in the world.




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