Abongile Sidzumo wins the 2021 Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Prize
Abongile Sidzumo completed his degree in Fine Arts at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts, Cape Town, South Africa, in 2019. In October 2021 he won the prestigious Gerhard Sekoto Prize, awarded to the most promising artist.
Sidzumo’s work is a reflection of his personal memories and lived experiences in relation to the boarder socio-political issues. He is often influenced by various aspects of his childhood, and the shared memories within home and community scapes. Through his creative practice Sidzumo attempts to use materials that relates to his connection with those spaces.
Sidzumo works with leather offcuts and repurposed materials to create works that reflect and interrogate humanity. He revisits memories and connects them to spaces he has lived in as well as the everyday life of marginalized communities.
Leather is often associated with luxury, wealth and power. Through his process of restitching and weaving this precious material, Sidzumo proposes that we start thinking about repurposed materials, connecting it and his process of stitching to notions of healing trauma that has been inflicted on black communities during apartheid. In a sense, Sidzumo’s practice functions as a way of interrogating the continuous healing of black communities in post-apartheid South Africa.