Vibrant, Spirited, Inspired : L’Atelier Takes It’s Thrilling 2018 Campaign And Brings Art To Life To The Streets Of Maputo

Africa’s premier art competition for young artists, L’Atelier is renowned for its standout, memorable campaigns that push the bounds of creativity while exploring fundamental aspects of the artistic process and journey. This year will be no different, with L’Atelier literally bringing artworks to life on the streets of Maputo.

Everyday Mozambicans will get a front row seat to this creative spectacular, which will fuse the highly evocative disciplines of contemporary visual art, live drumming and interpretative dance in one explosive performance on Friday , 23 February at CFM – Praca dos Trabalhadores between 12:00- 13:00; Mercado do Peixe – Avenida de Marginal -Nucleo De Arte- Mercado do Feima – Avenida Martires da Machava (Rua da Argelia, 194 [281.59 mi] Maputo, Mozambique 1) between 15:00- 16:00 and lastly 24 de Julho (Mimos Restaurante and Peri Peri Restaurante) between 19:00-20:00. This, as L’Atelier officially launches its 2018 campaign Give art life.

The campaign kicked off in Cape Town, South Africa, on Thursday, 1 February 2018 where thousands of people watched the spectacular. This was the first time that South Africans – and the many international tourists visiting Cape Town at the time – had seen African art come to life in this way, significantly enhancing the standing of the continent’s young contemporary artists and the broader African art fraternity and encouraging artists to register and enter the L’Atelier art competition. Following its launch in Mozambique this week, the campaign will move Johannesburg in South Africa and then Nairobi in Kenya.

“We have interpreted our theme literally this year. Dancers will be body painted and ‘incorporated’ into a number of artworks. When the live music begins, they will start their performance, moving within and eventually, out from, the artworks. In this way, the dancers Give art life. They bring the pieces to life right in front of our impromptu audiences, who are given a rare glimpse into what is otherwise a very personal process for the artist, that of having the power to give something life to allow it to breathe, to allow it to move, so that it has an impact on existence itself. Dancers meet artists in this exciting creative dialogue that we hope will make for riveting viewing as we promote the launch of the 2018 campaign for L’Atelier and call on young African artists to enter this prestigious competition,” explains Dr. Paul Bayliss, Absa Art and Museum Curator.

Five artworks from previous L’Atelier participants, including two prior winners, have been earmarked for the performance art pieces. These include the works Note Making by Banele Khoza (2017 L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award winner); Worn Out Family by Gideon Appah (2015 L’Atelier Merit Award winner); Palab par ci, Pala par la by Thierry Amery; Circus by Jessica Ounga; and Dog Eat Dog by Sifiso Temba.

Dancers from South Africa’s Moving into Dance (MID), a leading contemporary African dance company known for pioneering new Afrofusion and Edudance styles, will be transformed into human canvasses, and body painted to match the colours and textures of the chosen artworks.

The vibrant sounds of Africa will be brought to life through drumming performances by Joshua Zacheus aka Jstar.

The five performance-based art installations are mobile, allowing both the artworks and supporting performers to move to different locations within the chosen sites in the various cities.

Barclays really believes art has a heartbeat. It is a living, breathing entity with the power to come to life in its many forms. Artists have this unbelievable ability to extract concepts from their minds and turn them into these living, breathing works, which play a critical role in our society, whether through providing social commentary, providing pause for reflection, or eliciting singularly powerful emotions. L’Atelier is a celebration of this ability, so it is only fitting that this year’s campaign talks to artists’ ability to Give art life.

It is hoped that all these collaborators working together to bring art to life on Africa’s city streets will inspire the continent’s young artists to Give art life and enter L’Atelier 2018.

Full entry details are available on

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