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Absa Gallery hosts first-ever group exhibition of all Absa L'Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award winners
Posted on November 9, 2017.

Isabel Mertz, Water Damage (i) (ii) (iii)

Gerard Sekoto is widely recognised as the pioneer of black South African art. He changed the narrative of how the work and lives of black South African artists would be perceived, valued and documented.

It was for these reasons that the Absa L'Atelier awards honoured the artist's legacy by introducing the Gerard Sekoto Award in 2004 - an accolade bestowed on the most promising emerging artists to enter the competition every year since. The award is presented in collaboration with the Alliance Fran├žaise, the French Institute, French Embassy in South Africa and the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA)

Now, inspired by Sekoto's contributions to South African art, the Absa Gallery brings together, for the first time, all the Absa L'Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award winners in one exhibition.

Lawrence Lemoana, I was betrayed like Jesus

The exhibition titled A change in the Narrative explores the winning artists' narratives, through their work and through the reflective retellings of their thoughts and experiences since winning the Absa L'Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award. The exhibition is curated by Luyanda Zindela, a young Durban-based artist who won a Merit Award in the 2014 instalment of the Absa L'Atelier competition.

"The exchange of narratives is an innately human activity and a key component in the sharing of meaningful human experiences. Gerard Sekoto's work drew heavily from the value of the narratives around him. It is this dedication to the value of the narrative, especially the artist's narrative, that is a key part of the ethos of the Gerard Sekoto Award," says Dr Paul Bayliss, Absa Art and Museum Curator.

The artists participating in the exhibition include Belinda Zangewa, Lawrence Lemaoana, Nomusa Makhuba, Nina Barnett, Retha Ferguson, Nyaniso Lindi, Bongumenzi Ngobese, Isabel Mertz, Bambo Sibiya, Mongezi Ncaphayi, Mbavhalelo Nekhavhambe, Natalie Moore, Matete Motubatse and Banele Khoza.

A change in the Narrative runs from 20 November 2017 to 26 January 2018 at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg.

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