Philiswa Lila wins Gerard Sekoto award

2018-Gerard Sekoto Award

Artist Philiswa Lila surrounded by Véronique Briquet-Laugier, Counsellor for bilateral cooperation and Head of IFAS, Marion Claudel, Cultural Attachée and Deputy Director of IFAS, and Gerald Candelle, Director and Representative of AF Foundation in South Africa.

 

South African artist Philiswa Lila was presented on Wednesday 12 September with the Gerard Sekoto award for an imaginative sculpture known as "Self-Titled".

The award is given every year to a talented emerging artist from South Africa through the Absa L'Atelier Art competition.

It is supported by the French Institute of South Africa, the Embassy of France in South Africa and the Alliance Française network of South Africa.

Lila's work is inspired by her name, Philiswa, which means to "be healed" in the Xhosa language. She has produced a series of self-portraits.

"I use my name to explore the nuances of language, meaning and experiences of individualism," she said. "Self-Portraits is an ongoing project about individual experiences as recognisable or familiar to collective frameworks of culture – mainly in isiXhosa but also aware of the interconnectedness of cultures in South Africa".

Lila will receive a three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Art in Paris, an exhibition tour around the Alliance Française network of South Africa, and French lessons through the Alliance Française.