Gerard Sekoto award winner 2018: Philiswa Lila
On Wednesday 12 September 2018, Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr. Christophe Farnaud, attended the 2018 Absa L’Atelier art awards in Johannesburg.
For the past 15 years the Embassy of France in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa, the Alliance Française network and the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) have sponsored the Gerard Sekoto award at the annual L’Atelier awards.
The award is offered to the most promising South African artist with an income of less than R60 000 per year.
South African artist Gerard Sekoto (1913-1993) spent 40 years in France in voluntary exile from apartheid. He was a painter, self-taught pianist, musician and composer.
Ambassador Farnaud presented the annual Gerard Sekoto award to South African artist Philiswa Lila for her work entitled Self-Titled.
Philiswa Lila’s artwork shines a new light on names, language and their impact on individualism. #GiveArtLight #absalatelier Creating a platform for Africa ‘s young artistic talent to shine. That’s #Africanacity https://t.co/Aish7BUHhQ pic.twitter.com/votTPTrnF3
— Absa South Africa (@AbsaSouthAfrica) September 12, 2018
In his speech, Ambassador Farnaud spoke about the importance of art, globally but also in Africa: "Art matters. It adds something to our lives. Tonight we have proof of that".
Ms. Lila will receive French lessons through the Alliance Française, a three-month residency at the Cité International des Arts in Paris and a solo exhibition in the Alliance Française network in South Africa and its partnering galleries.
Previous Gerard Sekoto award winners: Banele Khoza (2017), Matete Motubatse (2016), Natalie Moore (2015), Mbavhalelo Nekhavhambe (2014), Mongezi Ncaphayi (2013), Bambo Sibiya (2012), Isabel Mertz (2011), Bongumenzi Ngobese (2010), Nyaniso Lindi (2009), Retha Ferguson (2008), Nina Barnett (2007), Nomusa Makhubu (2006), Lawrence Lemoana (2005) and Billie Zangewa (2004).