Meet Bulumko Mbete, the 2023 Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award winner

Arts and Creative Industries

Bulumko Mbete is the 2023 Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award winner!

An ode to Gerard Sekoto’s practice and prowess, the Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award, a partnership between the French Institute of South Africa, SANAVA and Absa, is awarded to a promising South African visual artist every year. Ongoing since 2003, this partnership demonstrates a successful synergy between the public and private sector in the name of celebrating visual art.

Investigating materiality, Mbete uses textile, beading and weaving to communicate generational gestures of love. As a part of the Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award prize, Mbete will leave South Africa for a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris. The South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) will cover Mbete’s accommodation and residency studio while the French Institute of South Africa’s support will cover her stipend as well as a return flight.

A bridge connecting South Africa and France, Sekoto’s time in France carried creative conversations forward beyond his time. Through more creative collaborations, exchanges and partnerships like this, the conversation between the two regions remains vibrant and meaningful in a way that we hope to see even in generations to come.

We look forward to Mbete’s contribution in the coming year.

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