ABSA L'Atelier Merit Award Winner 2013

Jakob van Schalkwyk

The ABSA L’Atelier is South Africa’s most prestigious art competition and is held annually for artists between ages 21 to 35. Four prizes will be made available: First prize, two merit award prizes and the Gerard Sekoto Award for the most promising artist. One of the merit awards is done in cooperation with the Sylt Foundation. Jacob van Schalkwyk, merit winner of 2013, will sopend a two-month residency on the island of Sylt in Northern Germany.

Van Schalkwyk was born in 1981 and studied for his BA in Historical Studies at UNISA. He has participated in a number of exhibitions, including the 2010 and 2011 Absa L’Atelier.

Through his documentation of the people and landscape in his immediate environment, the artist is endeavouring to ask questions about the effects of the passage of time on society, through the process of layering and juxtaposition of images.

The artist, using deliberate compartmentalisation to connect otherwise disparate images with historical influences, invites the viewer to partner him in the search for an image for the fourth quadrant.

As a young person in South Africa today, the artist is in a process of realigning his knowledge of the history of the land and the realities of contemporary life, as he experiences it, by asking questions about change, restoration and renewal. He queries the loss and displacement people experience on a daily basis and asks is this the "Promised Land"?

Read more about the Sylt Foundation Residency Programme
Jakob Van Schalkwyk
(c) Ivan Muller

(c) Jacob Van Schalkwyk
Landschaftsbilder von Sylt