There are four prizes for the competition:
Competition terms and conditions
The Absa L’Atelier, through its prizes, focuses on how best to support the artist in growing their brand and in equipping artists with the relevant skills needed to build their careers. The Absa L’Atelier also gives artists opportunities to build their network and collaborate in their art practice, while providing them with an unique platform that would best position them within the visual arts industry.
The winner from each of the three groups will receive the following:
Gerard Sekoto Award
The Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award is open to any South African artist aged 25 to 35 years of age. The Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award is made possible by the Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud and the French Embassy in South Africa, in partnership with Absa and SANAVA. In order to qualify, the entrant must be a permanent South African citizen and be permanently residing within South Africa.
The Award includes:
Candidates accept all terms and conditions of entry and by entering the artist acknowledges having read, understood and thus accepted such terms and conditions of submission of their entry to the competition.
The date of residency is April to June 2025.
Conditions of entry
How the winners are selected
Adjudication process in the Absa L’Atelier art competition
The Absa L’Atelier art competition sets the stage for the four prize winners to promote their work by exhibiting at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Absa L’Atelier art competition is open to everyone aged 21 to 40 years old. All artists, those with formal training, as well as self-taught artists, are given an equal opportunity to participate in the competition.
Adjudication of all submitted artworks is done by an independent panel of adjudicators appointed by the partners, namely the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) and Absa.
The adjudicators for the Gerard Sekoto Award are appointed by the Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud and the French Embassy in South Africa.
Each adjudicator is chosen for their particular field of expertise within the visual arts, including sculpture, painting, digital, printmaking and so forth, and each contributes to the assessment of what is deemed to be quality.
The criteria for the adjudication revolve around matters of technical execution, conceptual and thematic engagement, freshness of artistic vision within the context of African contemporary art, and finally – and probably the most difficult element – aesthetic appeal.
The adjudication for the Gerard Sekoto Award will be based on the body of artworks submitted and the CV of the artist. Through their CV the artist must have demonstrated a willingness to grow and develop themselves as an artist, using the opportunities provided to them (i.e. participation in group exhibitions, solo exhibitions, previously having entered the Absa L’Atelier and participation on other art platforms).
Who may enter?
The competition is open to all artists who are not younger than 21 and not older than 40 on 31 March 2024. In the case of art students, only students in their final year of study, who meet the age requirements, may participate.
All prize winners will be required to take up the prize as per the date mentioned in the entry details.
Only artists who are citizens or have been granted permanent residency and are permanently residing in South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Botswana, Uganda, Mozambique, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Nigeria or Namibia may enter the competition. All airfares to the Absa Gallery and/or the residencies forms part of the prize, and is only from one of the twelve participating countries.
If information is not captured accurately on the system and any information is missing from the online registration, the entrant will automatically be disqualified.
Absa will only collect, store and use your personal information, such as your name, age, telephone number and email address for the purposes of entering you, as the entrant, into the competition and for the purpose of administering the draw as set out in these rules. This will not affect any existing marketing preferences that you have registered with Absa.
By entering the Absa L’Atelier, your personal information may be transferred to our service providers and agents (including their subcontractors) to store and use as necessary to administer the competition. We will never pass your information on to any third party for them to use in their own direct marketing, without your consent.
Your personal information will be held on record for a short period of time, as necessary to administer the competition, and will then then be securely destroyed.
Which works may be entered?
Only one entry is allowed.
Each entry consists of a body of artwork, with a minimum of four and a maximum of five artworks.
All artwork must be uploaded via the Absa L’Atelier online platform.
The works of art must have been completed in the 12 months before the closing date of the competition.
Only original artworks by the artist may be entered.
Artwork subject to the following requirements:
Preparation of the works of art
Entrants will ensure that the artworks are ready for exhibiting. To avoid damage to the artworks, it is advisable that the entrants use perspex covering instead of glass. The artist is responsible for supplying hanging clips and protective tabs for artworks that are not framed, but needs to be hung.
Artworks that are selected must be available for nine months from the closing date of entries. The competition organisers will not be under any obligation to return the artwork within this nine-month period. All efforts will be made to have the artworks returned as soon as possible after the final exhibition closes.
Dispatch, copyright and sales
All artworks are to be available for sale. Absa reserves the right to first offer.
Absa and its partners reserve the right to reproduce artworks that are entered, without compensation to the entrants, for inclusion in a catalogue or for the advertising of the Absa L’Atelier.
If any of the winning artworks are selected for an exhibition, entrants will not be allowed to withdraw any of the artworks selected for any reason whatsoever. Withdrawal of any artwork will result in automatic disqualification of the entrant.
Damage and/or loss
If any artworks are stolen, disappear or are damaged, the entrant will be entitled to compensation up to the insured amount only that must be agreed with Absa in writing prior to the artworks been shipped.
A claim must be made by the entrant concerned within a month of the artworks being returned/lost, failing which, such claim will be forfeited by the entrant involved. If an entrant is compensated for damaged artworks as set out above, the entrant’s damaged artworks will not be exhibited or continue to be exhibited and the damaged artworks will not be included in any catalogue.
If an artwork is damaged due to a faulty hanging system, it will not be covered by insurance.
If any artworks are stolen, disappear or are damaged while in Absa’s possession, the entrant will be entitled to compensation. The risk in respect of damage to and/or loss of the entrant’s artworks will pass to the organisers once the work is collected.
Adjudication will be based on the online entry. The independent panel of adjudicators will be constituted under the partners, SANAVA and Absa.
The adjudicators’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Absa and its partners are entitled to amend the terms and conditions thereof in so far as same is deemed necessary and such amendments may relate to any aspect of such competition, which may include the addition and/or deletion of any existing and/or proposed terms and conditions of the competition, which amendments may also affect the identified prize, including but not limited to the cash stipend of such competition.
The proposed amendments may be effected prior to the starting date of the competition and during the competition period, which amendments may result in the competition period being reduced and/or extended as deemed necessary and it is the participant’s responsibility to regularly check the website where the competition rules are made available for any amendments.
No participant will have any recourse or claim against Absa or its partners as a result of any amendment to these terms and conditions or as a result of Absa’s cancellation, termination or suspension of the competition and/or amendment of the prize.
Artists failing to take up their residency prize as per the indicated dates will forfeit their prize and will have no recourse against Absa or any of its partners.
On being announced as an Absa L’Atelier Ambassador, the winning artists will be required to undergo due diligence screening similar to that of Know Your Customer (KYC) and sign a contract with Absa and SANAVA and/or its partners, accepting the terms and conditions of the prize. Should the results of screening return major adverse media results, Absa and its partners reserves the right to withdraw the prize
The prize can under no circumstances be exchanged or swopped in any manner or form.
All people entering this competition (the entrants) agree that the competition rules as set out in these terms and conditions are binding on them.
The organiser of this competition is Absa. For purposes of this competition “Absa” means Absa Group Limited (registered number 1986/004794/06), all subsidiaries and associates of Absa Bank Limited and the ultimate holding company of Absa Group Limited, its subsidiaries and associates.
Entrants acknowledge that they have been given enough time to read these terms and conditions before entering into this competition. Entrants are aware of all the terms therein and by entering the competition, acknowledge as such.
Absa L’Atelier team